Thursday, August 15, 2013

Through the first three games of this series, the Yankees have had the Angels numbers, winning that first three games and putting at a combined 25 runs in the last two game along. But the tables were turned on the Yankees, when Chris Nelson's grand slam in the 8th broke the score open, leading to a 8-4 Angels win.

Phil Hughes has been known to pitch very poorly at Yankee Stadium in his career, and this season especially, but Thursday's game in the Bronx fared a little better for Hughes.

"It was obviously better. It was hard to pitch much worse than I had been," Hughes said. "It felt like the results weren't exactly what I wanted, but I felt like I threw the ball OK. But at the end of the day it's a loss, which is not what we set out to accomplish today."

Hughes gave up an early run to the Angels, giving up an RBI single to Josh Hamilton that scored JB Shuck to put Anaheim in the board.

A couple innings later in the 4th, Hank Conger brought homerun the Angels second run on a sac-fly to left field, then a couple batters later, Chris Nelson, yes, the Chris Nelson that once played for the Yankees, hit a solo homerun to right field, his first of two homeruns in the ballgame.

Alfonso Soriano was the hottest hitting player coming into the game with 13 RBIs on his last two contests, coming off a 7 RBI game last night with a pair of homeruns, and he continued to streak, driving in the Yankees only run of the game in the 3rd on an RBI single to left field, to, at the time, tie game.

"Sometimes you have a good week," Soriano said. "I feel good at home plate. I'm seeing the ball good. I hope I continue hitting like this and help the team to win."

Unlike CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, Hughes didn't get much run support to help put the decision in his favor. Overall, he didn't pitch that bat, giving up just the three runs on six hits over six innings, while also walking one and striking out five.

"Overall, it's progress," Hughes said. "It's certainly not the way I'd like to progress; I'd like for it to kind of turn around quick. But it's a battle, and I'm going to keep doing whatever I can to stay on the right track."

The Angels didn't start to break things open until the 8th when Nelson came up against with the bases loaded and launched his second homerun of the game to left field, a grand slam off Boone Logan that put the Angels up 7-1. Shuck added another run a couple batters later on a single off Joba Chamberlain, making it a 8-1 game.

"We're trying to keep the game close, and I let a guy like that hit a grand slam off me," Logan said. "I probably could have hit that slider I threw up to him."

But the Yankees made interesting in the 9th, trying to came back from being down seven runs with three outs left to play. With runners on the corners and one man down, Robinson Cano singled to center to drive in a run.

After Alex Rodriguez struck out with runners on first and second, Vernon Wells, who had come up with big chances earlier in the game, lined a two-run double past a diving Mike Trout in right-center field to pull the Yankees within four runs.

Curtis Granderson followed with a two-out walk to put a pair of runners on for Eduardo Nunez, who would ground out to first base to end the game, handing the Yankees a 8-4 loss, snapping their four-game winning streak.

The Yankees had a ton of chances early in the game to do damage off Angels starter CJ Wilson, but just weren't able to get anything but a single run across the plate off him. Wilson got the win after giving up just one run on 11 hits in 6 2/3 inning, throwing a season-high 124 pitches.

Now the Yankees head off to Boston to start a three-game weekend series against the Red Sox, who lead the Yankees in the AL East by a whopping nine games. Being swept would do a ton of damage to the Yanks playoff hopes, while sweeping Boston could put them back into the AL East race.

"It's playoff baseball for us right now. I think the guys enjoy the challenge, I really do," manager Joe Girardi said. "They understand what we have to do. We have to win a lot of games, we have to win series and we have to play extremely well. I think our guys look forward to that. Baseball is meaningful for us. And it's very meaningful right now. As players, that's what you want."


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