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Anaheim at New York

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L.A. Angels (9-12)120010000491
N.Y. Yankees (12-10) «10120003x7120

Cabrera foils Scioscia's strategy, lifts Yanks over Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Melky Cabrera did more than win a couple of games in April for the New York Yankees. He's apparently won back his job, too.

Cabrera spoiled Angels manager Mike Scioscia's strategy, hitting a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning that led the Yankees over Los Angeles 7-4 on Thursday night for their third win in a row.

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Coming off a tough year that saw him sent to the minors last August, Cabrera sat behind speedy Brett Gardner when the season opened. But when Gardner slumped, Cabrera stepped in.

"I watched his effort in spring training, and I watched his work ethic right after I told him he wasn't going to be the center fielder. And he told me, 'I'll be ready to play any time,'" Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Cabrera hit a game-ending home run in the 14th inning against Oakland to finish the Yankees' first homestand of the year. This go-ahead hit raised his average to .327.

"He didn't start the season as an everyday player, but he knew his role," teammate Johnny Damon said. "He's playing with a confidence, he's playing with a purpose."

Cabrera left the ballpark without comment.

With fog and drizzle blowing into the ballpark, further emptying the expensive seats lining the field, the Yankees stopped the Angels' three-game win streak.

After an intentional walk to Nick Swisher loaded the bases with one out, Cabrera hit an RBI single on the first pitch from Justin Speier (0-1) for a 5-4 lead. Ramiro Pena followed with a two-run double for his first RBI in the majors.

"There were a lot of things we considered," Scioscia said. "I thought there was a chance for a groundball and a double play. I felt better about going after Cabrera and then the rookie -- Pena -- after him. Justin just missed with his spots; he was yanking the ball."

Said Speier: "I've got a short-term memory. I'll be thinking about something else entirely in about 10 minutes."

Pena delivered while getting a start at third base, a spot soon to be occupied by Alex Rodriguez.

"Maybe I create an opportunity," Pena said.

Damon and Mike Napoli became the latest hitters to launch shots over the inviting right-field wall at Yankee Stadium. The 28 home runs overall -- 19 to right -- are the most in the first seven games of a new park, one more than at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati in 2003, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

Phil Coke (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.

The loss left the Angels at 9-12 in April, ending their run of 15 consecutive months at .500 or better. That was longest active streak in the majors.

Mark Teixeira, who signed as a free agent with the Yankees despite the Angels' efforts to keep him, got booed after grounding into a double play in the seventh and striking out with the bases loaded to end the eighth.

"I'm just not getting it done right now," he said.

Bobby Abreu, who wanted to re-sign with the Yankees but didn't get an offer, had a single, a stolen base and an error for the Angels.

Napoli's opposite-field drive off New York's A.J. Burnett in the second landed in an empty seat beyond the wall. Damon homered deep into the second deck in the third off Angels rookie Anthony Ortega.

This was the first home game for the Yankees since they cut some ticket prices and gave away free seats to fans who bought high-priced season plans. Still, the field-level sections right behind home plate were only half-full on a chilly evening.

The Angels held an early workout in the Bronx, taking batting practice and trying to get a feel for the new park. Chone Figgins got them off to a fast start, leading off the game with a triple and scoring on a groundout by Maicer Izturis.

Notes

  • New York's Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 17 games.
  • Derek Jeter's 1,014th career RBI moved him past Bob Meusel for 10th place on the Yankees' list.
  • The Angels stole three bases and were caught twice.
 
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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Melky Cabrera smacks a tiebreaking single off Justin Speier in the eighth inning.  (US Presswire)
Melky Cabrera smacks a tiebreaking single off Justin Speier in the eighth inning. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Anaheim

A. Ortega
IP 6.1
H 8
ER 3
BB 2
K 2
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B4121010 .244
Maicer Izturis, DH4001010 .275
Bobby Abreu, RF4010020 .357
Torii Hunter, CF4010001 .325
Kendry Morales, 1B4000032 .273
Mike Napoli, C4121011 .283
Howie Kendrick, 2B3120101 .260
Juan Rivera, LF3000003 .297
Erick Aybar, SS2111000 .245
Totals3249418  
Batting
2B - Erick Aybar (5, Burnett)
3B - Chone Figgins (1, Burnett)
HR - Mike Napoli (4, Burnett)
SF - Erick Aybar (2)
RBI - Chone Figgins (3), Maicer Izturis (7), Mike Napoli (8), Erick Aybar (7)
SB - Bobby Abreu (9, 2nd base off Burnett/Posada), Howie Kendrick 2 (3, 2nd base off Burnett/Posada, 2nd base off Burnett/Posada)
CS - Chone Figgins (2, 2nd base by Burnett/Posada), Mike Napoli (1, 2nd base by Burnett/Posada)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Morales, Kendrick-Aybar-Morales
E - Bobby Abreu (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
Anthony Ortega 6.1843221 5.56
Scot Shields 0.2000100 8.64
Justin Speier (L,0-1) 0.1433100 5.00
Jason Bulger 0.2000110 11.74
IBB - Swisher by Justin Speier
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Ortega 100-59, Scot Shields 9-5, Justin Speier 15-9, Jason Bulger 13-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Ortega 10-6, Scot Shields 1-0
Batters Faced - Anthony Ortega 28, Scot Shields 2, Justin Speier 6, Jason Bulger 3
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4021100 .287
Johnny Damon, LF4111104 .295
    Brett Gardner, CF0000000 .220
Mark Teixeira, 1B4110114 .200
Hideki Matsui, DH4011001 .292
Robinson Cano, 2B4110012 .366
Jorge Posada, C4110010 .275
Nick Swisher, RF2210200 .312
Melky Cabrera, CF-LF4021001 .327
Ramiro Pena, 3B4122001 .269
Totals34712653  
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (3, Ortega), Jorge Posada (6, Speier), Ramiro Pena (1, Speier)
HR - Johnny Damon (4, Ortega)
RBI - Derek Jeter (12), Johnny Damon (10), Hideki Matsui (9), Melky Cabrera (9), Ramiro Pena 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (10), Hideki Matsui (5)
SB - Melky Cabrera (2, 2nd base off Ortega/Napoli)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pena-Cano-Teixeira
New York Yankees
A.J. Burnett 7844151 5.40
Phil Coke (W,1-1) 1000010 3.72
Mariano Rivera (S,5) 1100020 2.79
WP - A.J. Burnett (4)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 107-66, Phil Coke 18-13, Mariano Rivera 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-3, Phil Coke 1-1, Mariano Rivera 1-0
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 27, Phil Coke 3, Mariano Rivera 4
Game Information
Attendance - 43388
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Todd Tichenor