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Angels score runs in bunches

Juan Rivera sits it out, but they overcome another deficit to pound Yankees.

July 12, 2009|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

No. 3 hitter Torii Hunter and cleanup batter Vladimir Guerrero were put on the disabled list Friday, and the Angels scored 10 runs that night to beat the New York Yankees.

No. 5 hitter Juan Rivera, slowed by a pair of minor leg injuries, joined Hunter and Guerrero on the bench Saturday, and the Angels accumulated 16 hits and a season high for runs in a 14-8 victory over the Yankees.

Maybe Manager Mike Scioscia should give Kendry Morales and Mike Napoli today off. The way the Angels are hitting, they might just use their addition-by-subtraction formula to score 18 runs against the Yankees.

"I'm loving it," Hunter said after playing what he called "assistant manager" for another day. "These guys are coming through. Everybody is stepping up against a good team that was hot. The Yankees are no slouch."

Indeed, the Yankees had won 13 of 15 games when they arrived in Anaheim, but after getting torched for 24 runs and 29 hits in two games, they will turn to ace CC Sabathia in hopes of salvaging today's series finale.

"It's a real positive," leadoff batter Chone Figgins said. "It shows everyone in this clubhouse that we can still put up runs without our big boys in there."

They put them up in bunches Saturday, scoring seven runs in the fifth inning and four in the eighth to offset the five home runs hit by New York and erase a four-run deficit to win for the fourth time in nine games on this homestand.

Napoli hit a solo home run and a two-run double, Brandon Wood hit a two-run home run, and Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had three hits, as the Angels reached double figures in runs for the sixth time in 16 games.

Jered Weaver gave up four runs -- three earned -- and four hits in six innings, striking out nine, to improve to 10-3 for the Angels, who are now 16-5 in their last 21 games against the Yankees at home and 31-17 in their last 48 overall games against them.

It marked the 26th time this season the Angels have come from behind to win. They lead the major leagues in this category, which can be a blessing and a curse.

"Yeah," Scioscia said, when asked if the high number of comeback victories was indicative of anything. "It's indicative of the fact we've been behind a lot."

The Yankees led, 4-0, in the fourth on the strength of Alex Rodriguez's two-run home run in the first, Eric Hinske's solo home run in the second and Robinson Cano's RBI single in the fourth.

But the Angels nicked Yankees starter Andy Pettitte for a run in the fourth when Aybar doubled and scored on Bobby Abreu's single, and they crushed the left-hander in the fifth.

Kendrick led off with a single and Wood, in his first start since Friday's recall from triple-A Salt Lake, stroked an opposite-field two-run home run to right-center to make it 4-3.

Robb Quinlan singled, and Figgins grounded into a fielder's choice. Aybar singled Figgins to third, and Abreu lined an RBI single to left-center that tied the score, 4-4, and moved Aybar to third.

Napoli greeted reliever David Robertson with a two-run double to right-center that made it 6-4. Napoli took third on Morales' grounder to second. Gary Matthews Jr. walked and stole second, and Kendrick hit a two-run single to center to make it 8-4.

"The more you put runners on base, the more opportunities you're going to have to score runs," Figgins said. "A home run can kill a rally sometimes. You need them, but for us, the more we keep that train going, the better our offense works.

"Most guys would rather come up with runners on first and third and less than two outs than with no one on base, where they're trying to hit a home run."

The Angels have made a believer of Rodriguez, the Yankees' third baseman who hit two homers Saturday to pass Rafael Palmeiro for 10th on baseball's all-time list with 570 home runs.

"They don't strike out, they steal, everybody runs, they're very aggressive going first to third," Rodriguez said.

"It's like a merry-go-round. They just keep coming at you."


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