For the second time in the series, the Los Angeles Angels homered off closer Mariano Rivera, but on Thursday it was too little, too late for the Halos. Robinson Cano hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning, guiding the New York Yankees to a 6-5 win over the Angels at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. Cano's home run, off relief pitcher Scott Downs, came one batter after Mark Teixeira reached base on a fielding error by Maicer Izturis on what would have been the third out of the inning.
Rivera was brought into the game with one out in the ninth inning, with the Yankees nursing a 6-2 lead and two runners on base. Pinch-hitter Russell Branyan greeted Rivera with a three-run home run to right field to pull the Angels within one run, but Rivera got the final two outs for his 30th save of the season. It was Branyan's second home run as an Angel, and his first plate appearance since July 23, which was 19 days ago.
The game featured all 11 runs scored via home run, and all four long balls were hit into the jet stream that is right field at New Yankee Stadium. In the top of the fifth inning, Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run home run off Bartolo Colon to give the Angels a 2-0 lead. Those were the only Angel tallies off Colon in six innings. Callaspo also doubled in the game, collecting two of the Angels' six hits.
Curtis Granderson continued his breakout campaign with a tying two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth inning off Tyler Chatwood, who pitched 5 1/3 innings. Granderson now leads the major leagues with 93 RBI and has a career high with 32 home runs, one behind Jose Bautista or Toronto for the MLB lead. Granderson is hitting .275/.367/.583 on the season, and he hasn't just been a Yankee Stadium mirage. Granderson is hitting .273/.371/.569 on the road this season, with 14 of his 32 home runs coming in the road grays.
Fernando Rodney, who got the final out of the sixth inning, but allowed two runners to reach base in the seventh, was saddled with the loss, running his seasonal record to 2-4. Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up his second victory of the season. It was the sixth consecutive scoreless appearance for Soriano since returning from the disabled list in late July.
Derek Jeter had three singles and a walk in four plate appearances, running his career total to 3,033 hits. Jeter is 20 hits behind former Angel Rod Carew -- he converted -- for 22nd on the all-time hit list.
The Angels have lost four of six games to the Yankees this season. These two teams face off again in Anaheim from September 9-11. The Angels have not lost a season series to the Yankees since 2003. The Angels open up a three-game series in Toronto Friday night.
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