|L.A. Angels (64-53)||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||0||0||3||8||0|
|N.Y. Yankees (70-45) «||3||0||0||2||1||1||2||0||x||9||9||0|
Curtis Granderson helped him out by hitting a three-run homer off Garrett Richards before the rookie got his first major league out and New York snapped its three-game losing streak with a 9-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
Nova (11-4) took over the big league lead in wins for rookies, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. He made 10 appearances last season with New York, including seven late-season starts, before he was left off the postseason roster.
"I think he's made great strides since last year as a starter," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "I think he's become more consistent. He's developed another pitch."
|More on Angels at Yankees|
That new slider of Nova's has been a strength. One of the few times he threw it, however, he gave up Peter Bourjos' solo home run in the fifth.
No big deal. He got the last out of the inning and set down the top of the Angels' order before finally running out of steam in the seventh, when he let the first four batters reach. He tipped his cap to appreciative fans as he walked off the field.
Nova walked three without a strikeout one start after he fanned 10 without a walk. He hasn't lost in eight starts since June 3, against the Angels, and has won all three since he was recalled from Triple-A in late July.
"He has really good stuff," the Angels' Torii Hunter said. "The Yankees really have something special with him."
Granderson later added his 31st homer of the season on a long shot to the second deck in right field, beating his career high of 30 from 2009 in Detroit.
Robinson Cano tacked on a two-run shot in the seventh inning, getting within a single of hitting for the cycle. Eric Chavez hit an RBI double and Nick Swisher and Russell Martin had run-scoring singles for the Yankees.
The Yankees had lost six games in a row when the opposing starter was making his big league debut. The streak was in jeopardy pretty much from the start of the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Brett Gardner walked, as did Derek Jeter, before Granderson hit a long line drive to the gap in right that hit the padding atop the fence in front of the Yankees bullpen and bounced softly over it.
"His first three hitters weren't what you hoped," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "In between, there were some signs of his talent, settled down, and pitched some good baseball, but by then the damage was done."
Richards (0-1) allowed six runs and six hits in five innings. He also had two wild pitches, two strikeouts and two walks. He was called up from Double-A Arkansas by Los Angeles to take Jered Weaver's turn in the rotation while the Angels ace serves a six-game suspension.
"You know, I hadn't realized that," Girardi said. "You can obviously see why the Angels like him. Your major league debut at Yankee Stadium, it's a tough call."
Los Angeles made two sharp defensive plays behind Richards. In the second inning, shortstop Erick Aybar sprinted out into left field, leaned left and robbed Gardner.
Two innings later, Bourjos made the play of the game in center field, running down Eduardo Nunez's drive to the gap and catching it at his knees while right fielder Hunter dived in front of him. Bourjos turned and fired to second, where he nearly doubled off Chavez.
"I didn't see Torii, I was locked in on that ball," Bourjos said. "After I caught it, Torii looked up and said, 'That was almost ugly.' It was pretty cool to look up on the video screen and see the replay. I've never made a catch like that."
It wasn't enough against the Yankees, whose rookie pitcher didn't pitch like one at all, but more like the kind of seasoned veteran who makes fans and managers more comfortable in October.
Speaking of which -- Nova was asked if he'd been thinking pitching his way into the postseason rotation.
"Um, we are like a month and a half away," Nova said, dismissing the question. "I just got to keep my mind on what I want I have to do in five days."
Spoken like a true veteran.
|Curtis Grandeson tags rookie pitcher Garrett Richards for a three-run shot in the first inning. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.265|
|Russell Branyan, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.188|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.256|
|Torii Hunter, RF||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.253|
|Andrew Romine, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.143|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B-RF||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.261|
|Vernon Wells, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.210|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.290|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||4||1||2||1||0||1||2||.269|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.182|
|a- Maicer Izturis, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.270|
|a-struck out for Mathis in the 9th|
|2B - Mark Trumbo (21, Ayala)|
|HR - Peter Bourjos (5, Nova)|
|RBI - Vernon Wells (44), Peter Bourjos (24)|
|2-OUT RBI - Peter Bourjos (14)|
|CS - Peter Bourjos (5, 2nd base by Nova/Martin)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Garrett Richards (L,0-1)||5||6||6||6||2||2||2||10.80|
|WP - Garrett Richards 2 (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Richards 91-59, Joel Pineiro 45-27|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Richards 8-5, Joel Pineiro 4-5|
|Batters Faced - Garrett Richards 23, Joel Pineiro 13|
|New York Yankees|
|Brett Gardner, LF||3||1||0||0||1||0||2||.279|
|Derek Jeter, SS||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.271|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||3||3||2||4||1||0||0||.275|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.247|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||2||3||2||0||0||0||.299|
|Nick Swisher, RF||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.268|
|Eric Chavez, DH||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.307|
|Russell Martin, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.228|
|Eduardo Nunez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.274|
|2B - Robinson Cano (29, Richards), Nick Swisher (22, Pineiro), Eric Chavez (4, Richards)|
|3B - Robinson Cano (6, Richards)|
|HR - Curtis Granderson 2 (31, Richards, Richards), Robinson Cano (19, Pineiro)|
|RBI - Curtis Granderson 4 (91), Robinson Cano 2 (77), Nick Swisher (64), Eric Chavez (14), Russell Martin (46)|
|2-OUT RBI - Robinson Cano 2 (32)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Jeter-Teixeira|
|New York Yankees|
|Ivan Nova (W,11-4)||6||5||3||3||3||0||1||3.85|
|Rafael Soriano (H,12)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.05|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ivan Nova 95-58, Rafael Soriano 4-4, Luis Ayala 35-25|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ivan Nova 14-3, Rafael Soriano 1-1, Luis Ayala 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Ivan Nova 25, Rafael Soriano 2, Luis Ayala 9|
|Attendance - 46967|
|Game Time - 2:43|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Chris Guccione|