On Sunday, the Los Angeles Angels managed to avoid being swept to open up their second half. In the final game of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, the Angels managed to out-slug New York and survive a near-catastrophic bullpen meltdown to pick up a 10-8 win.
Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the first to grab a quick 2-0 lead. For Pujols, it was his 15th homer of the year. The Yankees answered right back in the bottom of the first, however, with a two-run Alex Rodriguez homer that tied things up.
Derek Jeter hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. The Angels were unable to break through again until the top of the sixth inning, when Alberto Callaspo hit a sacrifice fly to score Kendrys Morales and tie things up again. Maicer Izturis then hit a two-run homer -- his first of the season -- to make the score 5-3 Halos.
The Yankees cut the lead to 5-4 with Curtis Granderson's 25th homer of the year, but the Angels got that run right back in the top of the seventh, as Mike Trout scored on a Pujols double play. Eric Chavez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to allow the Yankees to keep pace, but the Halos had one more three-run inning in them.
Bobby Wilson and Trout picked up RBI hits in the top of the eighth and Aybar added an RBI on a sacrifice bunt to make it 9-5. Mark Trumbo led off the ninth inning with his 24th homer to give the Angels an even 10 runs.
The final inning quickly became a nightmare for the Angels. Ernesto Frieri finally proved fallible in the bottom of the ninth, as he walked Robinson Cano and then served up a home run to Mark Teixeira to start the inning and cut the Angels' lead to three runs. Nick Swisher worked an eight-pitch walk out of Frieri, who was pulled for Scott Downs. The Yankees managed to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs after Raul Ibanez singled, but Downs then struck out Andruw Jones and got Russell Martin to ground into a force out on one pitch. Derek Jeter walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Granderson -- now the potential winning run -- with two outs. Downs, despite getting ahead of Granderson with a 1-2 count, walked him to force in another run. MIke Scioscia brought in Kevin Jepsen to pitch to Rodriguez and managed to induce a pop fly to first base to finally end the game and allow the Angels to exhale.
Angels ace Jered Weaver was hit unusually hard, giving up five runs on 10 hits and a walk over seven innings of work. Weaver served up three home runs along the way, but still managed to pick up his 11th win of the season.
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