NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter hit a three-run homer to extend his fast start and Ivan Nova won his 14th straight decision, leading the New York Yankees to an 11-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night.
Raul Ibanez added a titanic homer and Jeter also doubled during a four-run rally to help the Yankees take two of three in an early series between high-priced teams expected to challenge for the American League pennant.
The prime-time crowd for a nationally televised game included Tim Tebow and Dwyane Wade, who sat side by side wearing Yankees caps in the third row next to the Los Angeles dugout. The new backup quarterback for the New York Jets, Tebow was mostly booed when he was shown on the giant video board — but he cracked a smile anyway.
New York spoiled the season debut of Jerome Williams, chased in the third inning, while sending Albert Pujols and the Angels to their sixth defeat in eight games. The $240 million slugger went 1 for 5 with an RBI single in the seventh that cut it to 8-5, but David Robertson retired Mark Trumbo on a bases-loaded fly to end the inning.
Pujols is still looking for his first home run with his new team. He’s gone nine games without one, his longest drought to start a season.
Howie Kendrick had a triple, a double and a bunt single for the Angels, his second consecutive three-hit game. Needing a home run for the cycle — the longtime Yankees nemesis hit one Saturday — he nearly got it with a drive that barely sliced foul in the eighth.
On the next pitch, Kendrick grounded out.
Nova (2-0) struck out eight over six innings, fanning Kendrick, Pujols and Torii Hunter in succession in the third. Often the beneficiary of big run support, the 25-year-old right-hander hasn’t lost in the regular season since the Angels beat him 3-2 on June 3.
His winning streak ties Hall of Famer Whitey Ford and Steve Sundra for the second-longest by a Yankees pitcher since 1920. Roger Clemens won 16 straight in 2001.
Nova was actually demoted to the minors during his winning streak — where he lost twice for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last July. He finished 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA as a rookie last season.
Jeter made it 8-1 when he connected off Hisanori Takahashi in the fourth, sending a drive to the short porch in right for his second homer of the season. The 37-year-old captain is 15 for 41 (.366) with six extra-base hits.
Tebow and Wade were gone by the seventh, when Nick Swisher hit an RBI single and Ibanez greeted Jason Isringhausen with a two-run drive into the suite level between the second and third decks at new Yankee Stadium.
Hunter, standing in right field, was caught on camera mouthing, “Wow.”
Ibanez’s second homer with New York made it 11-5, and the designated hitter finished with three RBIs. Robinson Cano, named for Jackie Robinson, scored three runs and reached safely four times 65 years to the day after the Brooklyn Dodgers star broke baseball’s color barrier.
Chris Iannetta homered for the second consecutive day, a two-run shot, and Trumbo also went deep for the Angels. Maicer Izturis had an RBI double in the sixth but third baseman Alex Rodriguez made a diving play to get Nova out of the inning with an 8-4 lead.
Trumbo hit a solo shot in the second before Nova escaped a first-and-third jam. New York tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by Ibanez and then scored four times in the third, chasing Williams (0-1).
No. 9 batter Brett Gardner drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning and went to third on Jeter’s double. Curtis Granderson, wearing customized spikes with the Jackie Robinson Day logo on the back and No. 42 on the tongue, knocked in a run with a groundout.
Rodriguez hit an RBI single, Mark Teixeira doubled in a run and Swisher’s sacrifice fly made it 5-1.
Williams was activated before the game after beginning the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
NOTES: Angels pitchers Jered Weaver and Dan Haren both flew back to California before the game to get some extra rest for their upcoming starts. Weaver goes Monday night at home against Oakland, followed by Haren on Tuesday. … Los Angeles rested cleanup hitter Kendrys Morales, who doesn’t have an RBI in 30 at-bats this season. … Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte tossed four scoreless innings of two-hit ball in his second start with Class-A Tampa. Pettitte, who ended a one-year retirement this spring, threw 31 of 47 pitches for strikes and did not walk a batter. New York manager Joe Girardi said it will probably take six outings for Pettitte to get ready for his big league return, just like a normal spring training. … Freddy Garcia starts Monday night against ex-Yankee Carl Pavano when New York opens a four-game series with Minnesota. … Granderson’s shoes will go up for auction, with proceeds going to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.