ANAHEIM, Calif. (WFAN/AP) — When Jered Weaver limped off the mound after 12 pitches with lower back pain, the Yankees had an unexpected opportunity to face the Los Angeles Angels without their ace.
Phil Hughes and the New York bullpen couldn’t get enough people out to take advantage of that chance.READ MORE: New Jersey Officials Monitoring Omicron Variant, But Say Delta Is Still A Concern As Travel Picks Up
Mark Trumbo hit a game-ending homer into the sold-out stands and the Angels overcame Weaver’s first-inning exit for their seventh consecutive win, a wild 9-8 victory over the Yankees.
“It’s unfortunate. They’re not going to be perfect,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of his bullpen. “It happens quick. Trumbo has that type of power. He can do that to anyone.”
After both teams blew three-run leads during 3 hours, 38 minutes of exhausting play, Trumbo connected on the final pitch from Cory Wade (0-1). New York’s lineup had done plenty, with eight runs on 10 hits, yet that only underlined the frustrating end of a five-game winning streak — and a waste of an opportunity to avoid the Angels’ shaggy-haired star pitcher.
“Any time you don’t have to see Jered, you have to like your chances,” said Mark Teixeira, briefly Weaver’s teammate in Anaheim. “You hate to see him go down, but if you don’t have to face him, that’s probably good, just because he’s one of the best in baseball. Give them credit. They battled back. Their ace went down, and they played a great game.”
Russell Martin’s two-out, two-run double in a three-run seventh tied it at 8 for the Yankees, who were on their longest winning streak of the season. Curtis Granderson hit his 15th homer and Teixeira hit his fourth in four games, but New York left the bases loaded in the first and ninth innings.
“A lot of guys had opportunities tonight, but any time you put eight (runs) on the board, you want to get that win,” said Nick Swisher, who went 0 for 4 and ran into Granderson on a full sprint in a scary third-inning outfield collision.
Hughes yielded 11 hits and seven runs while pitching into the sixth inning of a rough start near his hometown. Hughes had a 3-0 lead in the first after Weaver’s exit, but the Angels erased the deficit just six batters into the bottom half, with Howie Kendrick’s two-run single capping the rally.
“He just didn’t really have much command,” Girardi said. “It was a struggle for (Hughes) tonight. That’s going to happen.”
Hughes was born and raised in Orange County, attending high school 8 miles from Angel Stadium in Santa Ana. He had about 20 friends and family members in attendance for his first start in Anaheim since his sixth major league start in 2007.READ MORE: NYC 'Strongly Recommends' Masks In Public Indoor Spaces, As Omicron Variant Reaches North America
“On a night when the offense is doing so well and swinging the bats, it’s a tough one to swallow,” Hughes said.
After a horrible start to a season of high expectations, the Angels (25-25) are finally back to .500 for the first time since April 9.
“I was super proud of the way we came together against a really good team,” said Trumbo, who also tripled. “Of course they’re going to score some runs in that situation, but it’s huge the way we came back from the first inning on.”
Kendrick and Kendrys Morales drove in three runs apiece, while Mike Trout homered and Albert Pujols had two hits for the Angels, who got a hit from every batter. Los Angeles also overcame terrible defense in its return from a revitalizing 10-game road trip that pulled the team out of last place in the AL West.
“Hopefully, it’s a breakout game,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “During the streak, we have not been swinging the bat well. We’ve been doing just enough to win, so hopefully this will get us to a different place.”
Weaver left with a stabbing pain in his lower back after facing only four batters, but Los Angeles’ lineup matched its season highs for runs and hits, capped by the third game-winning homer of Trumbo’s young career.
Jordan Walden (2-1) finished the nine-inning relief effort, escaping a bases-loaded jam of his own making in the ninth on Derek Jeter’s grounder.
Trout hit his fifth homer of the season in the fourth. Morales delivered a bases-loaded double on reliever David Phelps’ first pitch in the sixth, driving home two runs and putting the Angels up 8-5.
NOTES: Yankees LF Brett Gardner took dry swings and RHP David Robertson played catch in both injured players’ latest rehab steps. Gardner is out with a strained right elbow, and Robertson has a strained oblique muscle. Gardner, who has been out for six weeks, will play in the minors before rejoining the Yankees. … Angels RF Torii Hunter returned from a two-week absence to deal with his son’s arrest in Texas. Hunter is still on the Angels’ restricted list, but seems likely to play soon.
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