ANAHEIM, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Chris Young simply threw up his hands when Mike Trout sprinted back and made his second remarkable catch of the night, robbing him of another sure run-scoring hit.
From his glove to his bat to his feet, the New York Yankees were powerless to stop the Derek Jeter fan from New Jersey currently manning center field for the Los Angeles Angels.
“Oh, it’s always fun to play the Yankees,” Trout said.
Trout and C.J. Cron homered, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun added run-scoring doubles, and the Angels beat the Yankees 4-1 Monday night for their fifth victory in seven games.
Trout hit his 20th homer of the season in the third inning against CC Sabathia (3-8), crushing a drive to the base of the fake rock pile beyond center field. The shot made him one of six AL players with four 20-homer seasons before their age-24 seasons — a list that includes Alex Rodriguez, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.
“(Trout) was really the difference in the game,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s responsible for about four or five runs in this game, taking three away from us, maybe four, and providing one himself. He was the real difference in the game.”
The reigning AL MVP also saved a couple of runs with two sprinting catches in center field on balls hit over his head by Young, leaving the Yankees outfielder waving his arms in disgust. Trout has been moving forward to play in shallow center over the last month, and the catches demonstrated his growing confidence in his formidable defensive ability.
“I thought I’d get a hit on both of them, but you’ve got to remember that Trout is out there,” Young said. “So you tip your hat to him. That’s what he’s supposed to do out there. He’s a great player.”
Trout even swiped second in the ninth inning, getting his first stolen base since May 22.
“We only get to see (Trout) five or six times a year, but he’s a difference-maker, it seems like every night,” Brett Gardner said. “He made some great plays out there, obviously, and he swings the bat really well.”
Rodriguez drove in a run and Gardner had three hits for the Yankees, who have lost six of nine.
Sabathia pitched six-hit ball into the eighth inning, but got meager run support in his first loss since May 28. The veteran left-hander has given up 19 homers this season.
“It’s tough, but it’s part of being an athlete,” Sabathia said of his rough start. “Figuring things out, battling and trying to get better. It’s not the ERA, but just the fact that we’re not winning the games that I start. I just want to keep us in the game and try to get some wins.”
C.J. Wilson (6-6) persevered through six eventful innings of five-hit ball for his third victory in four starts as the Angels (40-37) moved three games above .500 for the first time since June 2.
Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Pujols put the Angels ahead in the first inning with his 25th RBI of a dynamite June, slicing a double down the right field line to score Johnny Giavotella from first. Pujols also tied Tris Speaker for 13th place on baseball’s career extra-base hits list with his 1,131st. He also tied Ivan Rodriguez for 23rd in baseball history with 572 career doubles.
Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury went 0 for 3 with two groundouts and a strikeout for the Tampa Yankees against the St. Lucie Mets in his first game since May 19. He has been out with a strained right knee ligament, but could be back with the Yankees by Friday.
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin returned to the team after missing more than a month with a strained left oblique muscle. He could be activated Tuesday.
Yankees: Ivan Nova (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start back from elbow ligament replacement surgery. He pitched scoreless ball into the seventh inning against Philadelphia last week.
Angels: Andrew Heaney (0-0, 1.50 ERA) makes his second start for the Angels, who acquired him in the offseason for 2014 hits leader Howie Kendrick. He pitched six innings of one-run ball in his Angels debut last week.
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