Yankees rally to beat the Angels

May 1, 2009 9:25:30 PM PDT
Jorge Posada crossed first base and the New York Yankees spilled out of the dugout. Some wins are bigger than others, and the Yankees certainly thought the thrilling nature of Friday's 10-9 victory over the Los Angeles Angels would propel them to even bigger things.

"Hopefully, we can learn a lot from it," Posada said after his two-run, ninth-inning single off Brian Fuentes capped a comeback from a five-run deficit.

New York took a 4-0 lead in the first inning as Posada hit a two-run homer - the record-tying 29th at the new Yankee Stadium.

But Andy Pettitte couldn't hold it, and the Angels scored six runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh.

Melky Cabrera's RBI single, Ramiro Pena's two-run single and Derek Jeter's RBI grounder off Jose Arredondo cut the deficit to 9-8 in the eighth. Then in the ninth, Fuentes (0-2) walked slumping Mark Teixeira on a 3-2 pitch leading off, and Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano singled to load the bases with no outs.

Posada got ahead 2-0 in the count, then singled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch. New York won for the sixth time in seven games at Yankee Stadium since losing the opener and stretched its winning streak to a season-high four overall.

"This shows that we can come back. We can come back against tough teams, and we do have a lot of weapons on this team that could pitch in and contribute for us," Johnny Damon said.

New York won when trailing by five runs or more at the end of the seventh for the first time since Sept. 14, 2007, when it rebounded from a 7-2 deficit to win 8-7 at Boston, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Angels hadn't lost when leading by that much after seven since blowing an 8-3 lead at the Chicago White Sox in a 9-8 loss on Sept. 1, 2000.

"We're certainly sorting through some stuff here in the early going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're just obviously not getting it done right now. We need guys to get the job done and too many of them are having trouble doing that right now."

His bullpen is 1-8 with a major league-worst 7.69 ERA, a big reason the Angels are 9-13.

"I don't think I've seen anything like it, when everyone struggles at the same time," said Fuentes, who fell behind all four batters he faced and blew a save for the second time in seven chances. "Nobody's really happy down there with the way we're throwing the ball. Right now, I just need to get myself right. I need to throw more strikes, get ahead of guys, throw my secondary pitches.

Jonathan Albaladejo (2-1) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

Gary Matthews Jr. hit a three-run triple on rookie Mark Melancon's first pitch ever at Yankee Stadium for a 5-4 lead, scored on a wild pitch and drove in four runs for the Angels.

Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher bruised his right elbow when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning and left after two. X-rays were negative. The Angels' Bobby Abreu left after 6½ innings because of a tight lower back.

Both may miss Saturday.

Just 15 of 50 cushioned first-row seats between the dugouts costing $2,500 as part of season tickets and $2,625 individually were occupied when Chone Figgins bunted Pettitte's first pitch.

Jered Weaver allowed four runs and four hits in six innings, and Pettitte gave up five runs, nine hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Notes: Yankee Stadium tied Kansas City's Municipal Stadium (1955), Houston's Enron Field (2000) and Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park (2003) for most homers in the first eight games at a major league ballpark, according to Elias. It was the 20th homer to right field, where some believe a jet stream is carrying the ball. ... Angels RHP Ervin Santana (sprained elbow) will now pitch Monday at Class A Rancho Cucamonga and RHP John Lackey (strained forearm) will pitch Tuesday at Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Cano extended his hitting streak to 18 games, matching his career best. ... Pettitte picked off Torii Hunter at first base to end the first inning. It was Pettitte's 95th, breaking a tie with Kenny Rogers for most pickoffs since it became a statistic in 1974.