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Saturday, June 4, 2011
Yankees 3, Angels 2: Three Up, Three Down

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- The Angels were baffled by CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez hit a majestic home run off Ervin Santana to give the Yankees a 3-2 win at Angel Stadium, just their fifth win there in their last 13 tries. Mariano Rivera threw one pitch to earn his 15th save, getting Erick Aybar to hit a pop-up to shortstop to end the game. It was Rivera's 1,003rd game and, surely, one of his least-stressful.

The Good:

Abreu's at-bats. Entering Saturday, left-handed hitters were batting .178 against Sabathia. That didn't seem to bother Bobby Abreu, who stroked three singles to left field and is now 6-for-12 against the big lefty. Abreu has been in a rather torrid stretch lately, with 10 hits in his last four games. He has played 57 games this year and failed to get on base in only 10 of them.

110 pitches.  Santana threw 112 of them and only two of them cost him runs. Robinson Cano's shot carried into the shortest part of the stadium and Rodriguez's into one of the deepest, with plenty of room to spare. Santana has been on a nice roll and Saturday was a perfectly solid effort aside from the two home runs.

Aussie rules. Rich Thompson is probably in line for a bullpen promotion one of these days. He rarely pitches -- just three appearances in the 15 games before Saturday -- but he has been nasty when he gets into games. Thompson struck out three Yankees in two innings and leads the Angels' bullpen with 30 strikeouts.

The Bad:

Inches. Torii Hunter went flying into the right-field stands, flipping over the low wall in the corner, but he couldn't catch Cano's drive in the fourth inning. It seemed to sail a few inches over his glove for a home run to snap a scoreless tie. Hunter was lucky he didn't get hurt.

Latest slump. For two months, Maicer Izturis might have been the Angels' best player. Not lately, at least offensively. Izturis is stuck in one of the deeper slumps of his last few years, seven hits in hist last 51 at-bats (.137) over his last 15 games.

Kendrick's luck. For a guy who hadn't seen live pitching in more than two weeks, Howie Kendrick looked perfectly in-sync  in the batter's box. He didn't have any hits, but he hit two balls rather squarely and was robbed of an infield hit by Mark Teixeira's dive to touch first base with two runners on in the eighth.