What better way to make a winning streak official then to do it during a late-afternoon, nationally televised game, against the New York Yankees. Tommy Hanson was on his game tonight, needing just 84 pitches to get through 6.1 innings while striking out eight hitters along the way. The offense came through with insurance runs late in the game, and the relief corps was air tight with 2.2 of scoreless relief.
The Angels got on the board first in the second inning when Erick Aybar lined his second home run of the season over the short wall in right field. The Yankees answered with two runs of their own on a Brett Gardner triple (that should have been a ground-rule double), and a Jayson Nix RBI single. Albert Pujols tied the game up at two when he lined a broken bat single to center field, scoring Mike Trout.
The game remained tied into the sixth inning, until Aybar again came through. This time, it was an RBI single that drove in Mark Trumbo to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. But a mere half-inning later, the Yankees were threatening. Ichiro Suzuki led off the seventh with a perfectly placed bunt. He then stole both second and third, thanks in large part to how crazy slow Tommy Hanson is to home plate. But then Hanson struck out Thomas Neal. He would be relieved by Scott Downs, who would strike out Reid Brignac. He would be relieved by Michael Kohn who struck out Chris Stewart. Three straight strikeouts to end the inning from three different pitchers.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Angels made that only one run was going to determine this game. After Peter Bourjos and Trout both reached on a single and a walk, respectively, Josh Hamilton proceeded to drive in Bourjos with a double down the right field line. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, white-hot Howie Kendrick worked a bases loaded walk to run the score to 5-2. The Angels added another insurance run in the eighth when Pujols would single home Bourjos to make it 6-2.
Kevin Jepsen and Ernesto Frieri got the final six outs for the Halos, all of them in order. Jepsen struck out one, while Ernasty struck out the side. Emphatically slamming the door shut on the Yankees, and their fans that had invaded the Big A.
The series concludes tomorrow as the Angels go for the sweep in a 12:35 PM PST game featuring a marquee pitching matchup. Jered Weaver toes the slab for the Angels while C.C. Sabathia is on the bump for the Yankees. Light that baby up, that’s three in a row. That’s a winning streak.