The Los Angeles Angels, on the way to scoring ten runs yesterday against the powerful-for-nine-decades New York Yankees in the Bronx, hit four home runs courtesy of Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols in the first inning, Maizer Izturis in in the sixth, and Mark Trumbo in the ninth.
And they needed every one of those dingers and runs as Kevin Jepsen got future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez, who hit a two-run shot off of Angel ace Jered Weaver in the 1st, to pop up with the bases loaded in the 9th, the winning runs on base, and Yankee Stadium undoubtedly going wild to secure a 10-8 victory and avoid a sweep at the hands of those iconic pinstripers, who are on the verge of running away with the American League East (eight games up on second place Baltimore) and currently have baseball’s best record.
Weaver wasn’t his outstanding self in giving up five runs and ten hits, including a season-high three home runs, in his seven innings of work, but the Angels’ offense bailed him out and enabled him to improve his record to 11-1.
Ernesto Frieri, who had not given up a run in 26 1/3 innings as the Angel closer after he was acquired from San Diego on May 3, had that streak stopped rather quickly when Mark Texiera hit a two-run blast in the ninth to bring the 27-time World Series champions to within 10-7. After Scott downs gave up a single and a walk to bring the score to 10-8 and load the bases with two out, Jepsen was brought in to face the man who is sixth on the all-time home run list and is commonly known as A-Rod, whose pop-up to first base was akin to a get-out-of-jail-free card.
“…I was happy to get in there and get the job done,” Jepsen commented afterward.
By the way, for all you Mike Trout fans out there: The 20-year old rookie stud was 2-for-5 with a two-run double in the eighth. His .349 average continues to lead the American League by a comfortable margin.
The win leaves Mike Scioscia’s team at five games behind first-place Texas; after a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers this week, they will commence with the first of several showdowns against the Rangers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim starting this coming Friday.
Getting tickets early for that weekend series with the Rangers is strongly suggested and encouraged, as sellouts are a real possibility.