Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 4/13)

Game 1: Friday, April 13
LA Angels0Final
NY Yankees5
Game 2: Saturday, April 14
LA Angels7Final
NY Yankees1
Game 3: Sunday, April 15
LA Angels5Final
NY Yankees11

Angels 0

(2-5, 1-3 away)

Yankees 5

(4-3, 1-0 home)

    Coverage:  YES

    1:05 PM ET, April 13, 2012

    Yankee Stadium, New York, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    LAA 000000000 0 5 0
    NYY 30101000 - 5 8 0

    W: H. Kuroda (1-1)

    L: E. Santana (0-2)

    Angels-Yankees Preview

    NEW YORK (AP) -- When Mariano Rivera jogs out to the first base line and humbly tips his cap to the adoring crowd Friday during festivities at Yankee Stadium he will do so without tipping anyone off to his retirement plans.

    "I always look at opening day as if it was my first one," Rivera said. "This one will be just like the others."

    If this is going to be Rivera's last year in baseball -- he hinted as much during spring training -- his ever-steady performance on the field is no indication. The record-setting closer helped make sure the New York Yankees are heading into their 110th home opener in a better state of mind.

    After New York was swept in Tampa Bay, Rivera finished each of the Yankees' three straight wins in Baltimore -- including saves 604 and 605 -- with the last two games going extra innings.

    Relieved to be 3-3, the Yankees figure to get an emotional lift from newly retired teammate Jorge Posada, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, before Hiroki Kuroda makes his first start in pinstripes against Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels.

    Home is where the Yankees hope it all comes together.

    "It seems like we've been gone forever," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think we're all anxious to get back and play at home before our home crowd."

    Fans should be more forgiving with the Yankees coming off their first back-to-back extra-inning victories on the road in 11 years, according to STATS LLC.

    The season got off to a horrible start only miles from their spring training complex, when New York was outplayed in every area by the potent Rays. Kuroda gave up six runs in his first start and Rivera blew a save.

    "It kind of didn't really feel like spring training ended until we got on a plane and went somewhere," Nick Swisher said. "As soon as we got on that plane, I think something clicked for us. It was like, now it's time to go. Maybe that was a nice little wake-up call. It was like, you guys might think you're good but you've got to go out there and prove you're good. And I think we've done that so far, man."

    Not everyone is clicking, though.

    Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have not homered and have only one RBI between them, CC Sabathia has a 6.75 ERA and is winless through two starts, and Freddy Garcia threw five wild pitches in his first start Monday.

    "It's been a small sample," A-Rod said of the six games. "We have done some things well and there are some things that we could do better."

    Also struggling is Pujols. The slugger who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels (2-4) this winter has two RBIs and no homers after going 1 for 5 in Thursday's 10-9 loss in Minnesota.

    "This is nothing different," Pujols said of his slow start. "I'm able to play interleague, I have probably about 70 some games interleague, so it's nothing different. Just getting to adjust to the league, but the game is still the same. Nothing changed."

    Pujols has just 21 at-bats against the Yankees in six interleague games, hitting two homers and driving in three runs. He's gone 3 for 15 with one home run versus Kuroda.

    Now they'll see him more often -- and possibly in the playoffs. He's been to Yankee Stadium once with the Cardinals and he homered in 10 at-bats.

    "I liked it a lot more when he was in the other league, I got to tell you," Girardi said.

    The Yankees will be facing Ervin Santana, who allowed six runs and seven hits -- two homers -- over 5 2/3 innings in Sunday's 7-3 home loss to Kansas City.

    The right-hander also was hit hard in losing both of his starts to New York last season, posting a 5.54 ERA and allowing four homers in 13 innings.

    Robinson Cano hit two of those home runs, and the Yankees second baseman is 11 for 32 (.344) with four homers against Santana. Derek Jeter has hit .447 (17 for 38) with three home runs when facing him.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Gameday Matchup

     Los AngelesNew York
    W-L89-7395-67
    Night64-4861-47
    Grass87-6889-55
    Current StreakL2W4
    Last 106-47-3

    Pitching Matchup

    Los AngelesNew York
    E. Santana
    9-13, 5.16 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/30 at TEX
    2.2 IP, 6 ER
    Dec = Loss
    H. Kuroda
    16-11, 3.32 ERA

    Last Game:
    10/3 vs BOS
    7.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.Los AngelesNew York
    1. E. Aybar, SS D. Jeter, SS
    2. B. Abreu, RF C. Granderson, CF
    3. A. Pujols, 1B A. Rodriguez, 3B
    4. K. Morales, DH R. Cano, 2B
    5. M. Trumbo, 3B M. Teixeira, 1B
    6. V. Wells, LF N. Swisher, RF
    7. M. Izturis, 2B R. Ibanez, DH
    8. C. Iannetta, C R. Martin, C
    9. P. Bourjos, CF B. Gardner, LF