Yankees do just enough to extend winning streak to nine
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Yankees parlayed Gary Sanchez’s young muscles with CC Sabathia’s wise head and cut fastball Sunday night and left Southern California with a sweep of the Angels.
Sanchez provided a two-run homer and Sabathia contributed seven outstanding innings Sunday night in a 2-1 victory that was witnessed by an Angel Stadium crowd of 44,593 which was swollen with Yankees fans.
The Yankees’ ninth straight win gave them a three-game sweep of the Angels and sent them to Houston for a four-game series with the defending World Series champion Astros on a high note.
The victory allowed them to remain two lengths back of the AL East-leading Red Sox and showed they can win in a variety of ways since they won, 4-3, in 10 innings on Friday, 11-1 Saturday, and 2-1 Sunday.
Sanchez crushed a 0-1 pitch from lefty Tyler Skaggs over the Angels’ bullpen in left field in the fourth after Giancarlo Stanton doubled to left with one out. It was Sanchez’s seventh homer and 24th RBI in 24 games.
Manager Aaron Boone sent Sabathia (81 pitches) out for the seventh to face the bottom third of the all right-handed hitting Angels lineup. It was the first time this season the veteran lefty worked past the sixth.
Sabathia gave Boone seven innings of one-run pitching and improved to 2-0 with his second straight strong outing. In his previous start against the Twins, Sabathia allowed one unearned run and two hits in six innings of an 8-3 win.
Not only were the seven innings a season high so were Sabathia’s 97 pitches.
Aroldis Chapman recorded the final three outs for his sixth save.
Consecutive one-out soft singles by Justin Upton and Albert Pujols in the sixth put runners at the corners for the Angels against Sabathia. Upton hit a weak grounder to the right side and beat Sabathia to first. Pujols followed with a broken-bat flare just over Didi Gregorius’ glove and into center. Upton raced to third on Pujols’ 2,996 career hit and scored when Sabathia bounced a pitch past Sanchez.
With Pujols on second and one out Andrelton Simmons popped to short and Sabathia left with a 2-1 lead by getting Zack Cozart on a short fly to left.
Boone had Chad Green throwing in the bullpen while Sabathia worked to Jefry Marte at the start of the seventh. Sabathia fanned Marte for the first out, got Chris Young on a routine fly to left for the second and watched Gregorius slip and fall down while fielding No. 9 hitter Rene Rivera’s routine ground ball that was ruled an infield single.
With a “Let’s Go Yankees’’ chant filling the ballpark Sabathia got ahead of Ian Kinsler, 1-2, missed with a slider, and retired him on a fly to right for the final out and keep the Yankees in the lead.
Green took over for Sabathia to start the eighth and walked Mike Trout leading off. Upton followed with a pop to short center in front of Pujols who fell into a 0-2 hole. Green missed with the next three pitches and watched a broken-bat ground ball come close to being a fair ball over the third-base bag. With Trout running Pujols chased left fielder Brett Gardner almost to the warning track where he caught the hard-hit ball while falling down.
Simmons followed with a ground single to left that moved Trout, the potential tying run, to second for Cozart. At 0-2 the pro Yankee crowd believed Green had struck out Cozart but umpire Angel Hernandez didn’t see it that way. After Green missed with a pitch and the count at 2-2 Sanchez visited the mound and Cozart whiffed on a 95-mph fastball to end the scoring chance.
Sabathia ran into minor trouble when the Angels had runners at the corners and two outs in the third but Upton stranded two with a ground out to third baseman Miguel Andujar.
Through five innings Sabathia didn’t allow a run, gave up two singles, walked one and faced two batters with a runner in scoring position.
Skaggs allowed two runs and three hits through 5 ¹/₃ innings when he walked two and trailed, 2-0, going into the home half of the inning. The lefty, who made his first career appearance against the Yankees, also had a
season-high eight strikeouts and got Aaron Judge three times in his five innings. After retiring Didi Gregorius on a pop Skaggs was replaced by right-hander Justin Anderson.
The Yankees had a base runner in the second and third via walks but no hits until Stanton laced a double to left with one out in the fourth. Two pitches later Sanchez homered over the Angels’ bullpen in left field for a 2-0 lead.
Gregorius’ high throw to first on Trout’s ground ball with two outs in the third put runners at the corners for Upton. It was Gregorius’ second error of the season and both have come on throws.
With the count, 1-2, on Upton, Sabathia believed he got a third strike, but Hernandez called the pitch a ball. Sabathia gave the umpire a look and after retiring Upton on a grounder to Andujar the veteran lefty had something to say to the veteran umpire while walking toward the Yankee dugout.
Hernandez moved toward Sabathia who was ushered away by Gregorius.
When Sabathia came out for the fourth inning Hernandez met him near the mound and said something to him.
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