Angels let 14-inning game slip away in loss to Yankees

Yankees' Kyle Higashioka slides safely into home as Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy can't hang on to the ball on a third inning sacrifice fly by first baseman Luke Voit at Angel Stadium.
Yankees’ Kyle Higashioka slides safely into home as Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy can’t hang on to the ball on a third inning sacrifice fly by first baseman Luke Voit at Angel Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

What’s left of the New York Yankees, a team so decimated it could field a lineup of players on the injured list, was still enough to give the Angels more than they could handle Monday night.

The Bruised Bombers, as they are now known — missing two All-Star outfielders, an All-Star catcher, an ace and a high-end reliever — extended the Angels to extra innings for the first time this season behind a superb start from left-hander J.A. Happ, some stout relief and an air-tight defense that turned three double plays.

After both teams pushed across runs in the 12th inning, the Yankees pulled out a 4-3, 14-inning victory in Angel Stadium with a rally that started with a strikeout.

Angels reliever Luke Bard’s third strike to Gleyber Torres bounced away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who retrieved the ball in foul territory but lofted his throw to first over the head of Albert Pujols for an error.


Clint Frazier struck out, but Torres took second on a wild pitch. Mike Tauchman struck out, and Mike Ford was intentionally walked. Gio Urshela, who drove in a 12th-inning run with a sacrifice fly, lined a single to right-center for a 4-3 lead.

Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder threw a scoreless 14th to end the 4-hour 35-minute game.

The Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the 12th with a rally that Frazier, who replaced injured left fielder Giancarlo Stanton in early April, started with a double to right-center off Angels reliever Taylor Cole, who had retired the side in order in the 10th and 11th innings.

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Tauchman, who replaced the injured right fielder Aaron Judge over the weekend, advanced Frazier to third with a grounder to second. Ford was walked intentionally and Urshela then lofted a sacrifice fly to center.

The Angels rallied off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. Kevan Smith led off with a single to left and was replaced by pinch-runner Peter Bourjos. Lucroy struck out with Bourjos stealing second. Kole Calhoun flied out and Zack Cozart was hit by a pitch.

Brian Goodwin then turned around a 97-mph Chapman fastball, lining a single to center for a 3-3 tie. Cozart suffered a head or neck injury diving back into second on the hit and was pulled for a pinch-runner, pitcher Felix Pena. Tommy La Stella grounded out to end the inning.

The Angels, out of position players, moved Bourjos, an outfielder who was in the designated hitter spot, to second base in the 13th. Bourjos, who had never played the infield in the majors or minors, made a diving stop of Brett Gardner’s grounder and threw to first for the out.

Cozart’s lineup spot came up in the 14th inning. The Angels sent up pitcher Trevor Cahill, who struck out to end the game.

Earlier, Angels right-hander Matt Harvey rebounded from a brutal three-start stretch with six solid innings, absorbing some hard contact but giving up only two runs and three hits, striking out two and walking two.

“The main thing is the misses have been bad misses, very hitter-friendly misses,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “If we can avoid that, I think he’ll be in good shape because the raw stuff has been very good.”

Harvey’s ninth pitch Monday was another hitter-friendly miss, an 88-mph, hanging slider that Luke Voit lined over the wall in right-center — the ball left the bat at 108 mph — for a 1-0 lead.

The Angels scored twice in the second when Smith singled and Lucroy hit his first homer as an Angel, a two-run shot to center that made it 2-1 and provided some blooper-reel fodder, Smith tripping and stumbling to the ground after congratulating Lucroy with a double-high-five behind the plate.

Harvey got into trouble in the third when the Yankees loaded the bases with one out on Kyle Higashioka’s double and walks to Gardner and Voit, but Harvey limited New York to one run.

The quality start did not earn Harvey a win because Happ was even better, giving up two runs and three hits in seven innings. Happ retired 13 of the last 14 Angels he faced before yielding to right-hander Adam Ottavino.

Cam Bedrosian, Luis Garcia and Hansel Robles each threw hitless innings for the Angels, Robles striking out the side — Frazier and Tauchman with 97-mph fastballs and Ford with an 87-mph slider — in the ninth.