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Anaheim at New York

Scoreboard
L.A. Angels (31-20) «000010300481
N.Y. Yankees (21-27)010100001360

Lackey wins eighth as Angels take third straight from Yankees

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- They dueled down to the final strike, Francisco Rodriguez vs. Derek Jeter with the outcome in jeopardy.

In this game -- and in this season -- it was K-Rod's turn to win.

After throwing a series of amped-up fastballs and wicked sliders, Rodriguez retired Jeter on a fly ball with a runner on third for the last out, lifting the Los Angeles Angels over the New York Yankees 4-3 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

"It could be the worst hitter in the world. It could be the best hitter," Rodriguez said. "I treat every hitter with the same respect."

John Lackey earned his major league-high eighth win and the AL West-leading Angels kept going in the right direction with their ninth victory in 11 games.

New York, meanwhile, lost for the seventh time in 10 games and dropped a season-high six games below .500. The Yankees fell 12½ games behind Boston in the AL East -- their biggest deficit since 1995, when they trailed by up to 16 games in late August.

"We're not giving up," Jeter said. "We had an opportunity there. We couldn't do it."

Down 4-2, the Yankees rallied in the ninth against Rodriguez. Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly brought up their best clutch hitter -- Jeter was batting .583 with runners in scoring position and two outs going into that at-bat.

With a crowd of 53,508 standing, Jeter fell behind in the count 1-2. Rodriguez then bounced a slider that catcher Mike Napoli expertly blocked.

"That's the confidence I have in him," Rodriguez said.

Jeter fouled off four full-count deliveries before lofting a long fly on the 10th pitch. Rodriguez got his 16th save in 17 chances.

"It was nervous time at the end," said Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke, who ran the team in manager Mike Scioscia's absence. "We play them well. That's because we have great pitching."

The Angels posted their first sweep at Yankee Stadium since 2004, winning when New York reliever Scott Proctor couldn't find the plate. He issued bases-loaded walks to pinch-hitter Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins that let Los Angeles rally for three runs in the seventh for a 4-2 lead.

"Two bases-loaded walks, not real good odds on that," Roenicke said. "That wasn't really in my mind."

The Yankees tried most everything from the start.

In a rare move, manager Joe Torre took out the lineup card for the pregame meeting with the umpires. Perhaps he wanted a chance to talk to Jeff Nelson, criticized by Torre for a final strike three call in Saturday's loss.

Before the Yankees batted in the bottom of the first, an inspirational scene from the movie Rudy was shown on the scoreboard. That clip is usually saved for the late innings, when they need a rally.

But it was the Angels who pulled off the comeback.

"This is a very tough time," Torre said. "You can't allow yourself to get discouraged."

Lackey (8-3) gave up five hits over eight innings. He escaped his biggest jam by getting Hideki Matsui to ground out to strand runners on second and third in the seventh.

"I really enjoy pitching here. I can't speak for everyone," he said. "We're not intimidated."

Yankees starter Mike Mussina took a 2-1 lead into the seventh and began the inning by striking out Gary Matthews Jr. After a walk to Casey Kotchman, Mussina was pulled after 95 pitches.

"I probably could've thrown a few more," Mussina said. "It was probably the right move. didn't have a problem with it."

Proctor (0-2) relieved, Howie Kendrick promptly doubled and Napoli walked to load the bases. Aybar batted for Robb Quinlan and hung in for 11 pitches to draw another walk that made it 2-all.

Figgins was next, and the ninth-place batter also walked to force home the go-ahead run. That was all for Proctor, who covered his face with his cap when Torre came to get him. Brian Bruney relieved and Reggie Willits hit a sacrifice fly.

"Anytime you have the lead like that, that's what we're there for," Proctor said. "All of them are frustrating."

Mussina matched a career best by striking out the first four hitters. Napoli hit an RBI single in the fifth.

Seldom-used catcher Wil Nieves had a career day for the Yankees. In his 12th pro season, and playing his 50th game in the majors, he hit a pair of RBI singles and threw out two runners trying to steal. He started the game batting .037.

"The guy who hurt me the most was the guy who came in with the worst numbers," Lackey said.

Notes

  • Scioscia was back in California for his son's high school graduation.
  • Lackey has gotten a decision in every start this season.
  • Mussina struck out the first four batters in 1996 with Baltimore and did it again with the Yankees in 2004, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Angels get eight solid innings from John Lackey, who wins his major-league best eighth game.  (AP)
The Angels get eight solid innings from John Lackey, who wins his major-league best eighth game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

J. Lackey
IP 8.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 4
New York

W. Nieves
AB 2
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Reggie Willits, LF3001011 .328
Orlando Cabrera, SS4010010 .305
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4000011 .335
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4110021 .287
Casey Kotchman, 1B2110100 .303
Howie Kendrick, 2B4120013 .308
Mike Napoli, C3111111 .257
Robb Quinlan, RF2010000 .255
   a- Erick Aybar, PH-RF1001100 .254
    Tommy Murphy, RF0000000 .176
Chone Figgins, 3B3011112 .138
Totals3048448  
a-walked for Quinlan in the 7th
Batting
2B - Howie Kendrick (3, Proctor)
SF - Reggie Willits (2)
RBI - Reggie Willits (8), Mike Napoli (15), Erick Aybar (11), Chone Figgins (6)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli (3)
CS - Howie Kendrick (2, 2nd base by Mussina/Nieves), Chone Figgins (1, 2nd base by Farnsworth/Nieves)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Kendrick-Kotchman
E - Orlando Cabrera (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
John Lackey (W,8-3) 8522240 2.36
Francisco Rodriguez (S,16) 1111100 2.38
HBP - Abreu (by John Lackey), Mientkiewicz (by John Lackey)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 105-68, Francisco Rodriguez 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 12-8, Francisco Rodriguez 1-2
Batters Faced - John Lackey 33, Francisco Rodriguez 5
New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera, CF4011002 .219
Derek Jeter, SS5010003 .352
Hideki Matsui, LF4000002 .279
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3000110 .299
Jason Giambi, DH4000022 .255
Robinson Cano, 2B4110010 .260
Bobby Abreu, RF2200101 .233
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B2000001 .230
   a- Jorge Posada, PH1010000 .372
Wil Nieves, C2022100 .103
   b- Johnny Damon, PH1000000 .272
Totals3236334  
a-singled for Mientkiewicz in the 9th
b-grounded out for Nieves in the 9th
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (11, Lackey), Robinson Cano (12, Lackey)
SF - Melky Cabrera (2)
RBI - Melky Cabrera (14), Wil Nieves 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Wil Nieves (1)
SB - Bobby Abreu (7, 2nd base off Lackey/Napoli)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Melky Cabrera 1
DP - Jeter-Mientkiewicz, Cabrera-Mientkiewicz
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina 6.1522160 5.86
Scott Proctor (BS,3; L,0-2)0122300 3.65
Brian Bruney 1.2100010 1.57
Kyle Farnsworth 1100010 4.87
HBP - Kotchman (by Brian Bruney)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 95-64, Scott Proctor 25-12, Brian Bruney 20-13, Kyle Farnsworth 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 7-4, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 23, Scott Proctor 4, Brian Bruney 6, Kyle Farnsworth 3
Game Information
Attendance - 53508
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Jeff Nelson