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Saturday, June 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Angels 6, Yankees 2

By Wallace Matthews

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Just when you thought things could hardly get worse, a day of multiple losses for the Yankees. First, the game -- a 6-2 defeat to the Angels. Yet another one in which the bats roused themselves for one inning, the third, then rolled over to resume the lumber slumber they've been in for past week or so. But worse than that, in the fourth inning, they also lost Mark Teixeira to a recurrence of the wrist injury that cost him the first two months of the season. You know this has to bottom out some day. But when?

What it means: That the Yankees need an ace-like effort out of CC Sabathia in Sunday's series finale to avoid the triple whammy of a 3-7 road trip, a second-straight series sweep, and a six-game losing streak.

Good wood: After being held hitless for the first 2 2/3 innings, the Yankees had what amounts to an offensive explosion with two out in the third. Starting with Chris Stewart's single to center to break up Hanson's no-hitter, Brett Gardner followed with a triple high off the right-field walk, which may or may not have been touched by a fan, for the first run. Then Jayson Nix singled in Gardner to cap the outburst and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

Can't hold a lead: For the third game in a row, the Yankees took the lead early. And for the third game in a row, they wasted little time in giving it right back. After going up 2-1 on Nix's single, Phelps allowed the Angels to score in the bottom of the inning. The Yankees never led again.

Pole position: The Angels got on the board first when Erick Aybar's line drive down the right-field line shot over the fence just inside the foul pole. It was the first home run allowed by Phelps since May 13.

Building runs: The Angels manufactured a run -- and erased a short-lived Yankees lead -- in the third inning with a one-out walk to Mike Trout, who stole second base, went to third on a groundout and scored on Albert Pujols' single. They took the lead when Phelps was burned by another walk, this one a lead-off pass to Mark Trumbo, who went to second on Howie Kendrick's single, to third on a groundout, and scored on Aybar's single to left in the sixth.

Not again! Teixeira left the game after 3 1/3 innings after suffering an apparent recurrence of the wrist injury that cost him the first 53 games of the season. Although Teixeira did not seem injured on either of his two at-bats -- a fly out and a foul out -- or the five chances he handled at first base, manager Joe Girardi told Fox broadcasters Tex "didn't have the snap" he was supposed to have in his swing and was replaced at first base by David Adams. The Yankees called Teixeira's injury an "aggravated right wrist" and said he will be examined by team physician Chris Ahmad on Sunday.

The right choice: Girardi stuck with Ichiro Suzuki in right field today, and the move paid dividends in the first inning when Suzuki made a spectacular sliding catch to rob Trumbo and save a run. He did it again in the eighth when he took a possible lead-off double away from Hank Conger. Ichiro also made a pinpoint throw home to hold Josh Hamilton at third on Alberto Callaspo's fly out in the seventh.

K-rations: The Yankees struck out 14 times today. Lyle Overbay and Thomas Neal led the way with three Ks apiece.

What's next: Sabathia (6-5, 4.07), coming off a loss to the Athletics last Tuesday in Oakland, faces the Angels' ace, Jered Weaver (1-2, 3.77) in the series finale Sunday afternoon, first pitch at 3:35 p.m.