Thursday, August 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Angels 8, Yankees 4
By Kieran Darcy
NEW YORK -- Phil Hughes' nightmare of a season continues, the Yankees couldn't take advantage of a not-so-sharp C.J. Wilson and Boone Logan gave up a grand slam late on Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
What it means: The Yankees failed to finish off a four-game sweep of the Angels, but still took three of four and went 5-2 on this homestand. The Yanks are now 62-58 -- in fourth place in the American League East, nine games behind the first-place Red Sox, and 5½ games out in the wild-card race.
The Angels, who improve to 54-66, are in fourth place in the AL West, 15½ games behind the Rangers.
Groundhog day: Hughes pitching at Yankee Stadium is not a recipe for success. Entering Thursday's game, he was 1-8 in the Bronx this season with a 6.18 ERA.
Just eight minutes after Hughes fired the first pitch of the day, the Yankees were trailing. J.B. Shuck led off the game with a single, stole second base and scored on a Josh Hamilton single.
Hughes gave up two more runs in the fourth inning. Erick Aybar led off with a double and scored on a Hank Conger sacrifice fly, and then Chris Nelson blasted a 94 mph fastball into the Yankees' bullpen, making the score 3-1.
Hughes went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits -- that actually qualifies as a good outing for him, especially considering the location. Nevertheless, he fell to 4-12 on the season with a 4.98 ERA. He hasn't won a game since July 2.
Missed opportunities: The good news is, the Yankees pounded out 15 more hits Thursday. The bad news is, they did very little with them.
The Yanks tied the game 1-1 in the third inning, when Brett Gardner smacked a one-out triple and scored on an Alfonso Soriano single (his 14th RBI in a three-day span). But later that inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Vernon Wells grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
The Yankees had runners on base in every inning, with multiple runners aboard in the second and fourth. But they failed to drive any more home until the ninth, when they were down big.
Cano drove in the Yankees' second run, in the bottom of the ninth, with a single after a Gardner walk and Soriano single. Then Wells drove Soriano and Cano home with a two-out double.
The biggest blow: After Shawn Kelley gave up a leadoff double to Mike Trout in the top of the eighth, Joe Girardi called upon lefty Boone Logan to face Hamilton. Logan struck out Hamilton and retired Aybar, as well, but then walked Mark Trumbo (intentionally) and Conger (unintentionally). Next up was Nelson, who drove the second pitch he saw from Logan, an 81 mph slider, into the left-field seats for a grand slam, making the score 7-1.
For Nelson, who played in nine games for the Yankees in May, it was his first career grand slam and first career multihomer game.
What's next: The Yanks are headed to Boston for a three-game series against the Sox, starting Friday night. Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.62) will pitch for New York, opposed by fellow lefty Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66), with first pitch scheduled for 7:10.