NEW YORK — Ernesto Frieri's scoreless streak came to an end at 26 1/3 innings Sunday when the reliever gave up a two-run home run to Mark Teixeira in the ninth inning, but the right-hander was grateful his teammates put out such a big pillow to soften his landing.
All Teixeira's homer did was cut a five-run Angels lead over the New York Yankees to three runs. The Angels held on for a 10-8 win.
"Like I said before, everybody is going to have a tough outing, and today, it happened to me," Frieri said. "The good thing for me is we didn't lose the game. … I never thought about the streak. This is not about me. I'm not here to break records. I'm here to help the team."
Frieri hadn't pitched in a week, but he did not use that as an excuse for walking two of the three batters he faced and giving up the homer.
"I felt good — I just couldn't find my release point," Frieri said. "I felt very strong today. I was just flying open a bit, was too quick to the plate and was probably thinking too much."
You know that first-and-third pickoff move that almost never works? It worked wonders Sunday for Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, who got not just one but two outs on the play to escape a first-and-third, one-out jam in the third.
After faking a move to third, Weaver spun and fired to first, where Robinson Cano drifted too far from the bag. Just as Angels shortstop Erick Aybar tagged out Cano in a rundown, Alex Rodriguez broke for home from third and was thrown out by Aybar to end the inning.
"It doesn't work too often, but it worked this time," Weaver said. "That's all that matters."
Walden goes on DL
Reliever Jordan Walden was put on the 15-day disabled list because of a right biceps strain Sunday and was replaced on the roster by outfielder Kole Calhoun, who was called up from triple-A Salt Lake.
Walden's shoulder "flared up bad" after his last outing July 8, and his arm was "in knots" after a bullpen workout Friday. He tried to pitch through shoulder pain and suffered a forearm strain that sidelined him for several months at double-A Arkansas in 2009, so Walden knew not to pitch through this injury.
"Every pitcher is going to pitch with a little inflammation," Manager Mike Scioscia said, "but when it gets to a point where you don't feel you can comfortably execute your pitches, it's time to take a step back."
Scioscia said Dan Haren, on the DL because of lower-back stiffness, came out of Saturday's bullpen workout "really well." The right-hander is expected to make a rehabilitation start of four or five innings and 60-70 pitches Monday or Tuesday, which would put him on track to pitch next Sunday against Texas. ... Torii Hunter, slowed by tightness in his right groin, did not start for a second straight game Sunday, but the right fielder entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth and expects to start Monday night in Detroit.