Yankees rout Angels to take 3-1 series lead

The Angels' Erick Aybar (left) is tagged out by New York's Mark Teixeira on a bunt attempt in the third inning.
The Angels' Erick Aybar (left) is tagged out by New York's Mark Teixeira on a bunt attempt in the third inning.
Posted: October 21, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif. - CC Sabathia did not seem to miss his extra day of rest too much. Pitching for the first time this season on three days rest, Sabathia allowed one run in eight sharp innings as the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels, 10-1, last night at Angel Stadium.

The Yankees lead the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, three games to one. They will attempt to close things out here tomorrow.

Sabathia, who was 2-3 with a 7.92 ERA in three previous postseasons, is 3-0 this year, with two of the wins coming against the Angels.

"We've got a little way to go, but I never had a doubt about me being able to perform on this stage in October," Sabathia said. "Seems like other people did. Right now I feel great."

In a 4-1 win over the Angels in Game 1, Sabathia allowed one run in eight innings.

Last night he was just as dominant, yielding five hits, walking two, and striking out five in a masterful 101-pitch effort.

"That change-up we saw from him the last couple of times wasn't nearly as consistent as now, and that was the biggest thing we had to adjust to tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He was the story in Game 1 and in this game."

Sabathia was still going strong late in the game. In the eighth inning, he struck out Bobby Abreu on a 96-m.p.h. fastball for the second out.

"I've always said the one thing about CC is he's a big, strong man," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You look at the shoulders on him, the legs. The other reason he's able to do that is he's very mechanically sound, and that helps."

Sabathia was starting on three days rest for the first time since Oct. 2 of last year, when he pitched Game 2 of the NL division series for Milwaukee.

We all know how that turned out.

That was the game that included Brett Myers' nine-pitch walk and Shane Victorino's grand slam as the Phillies beat Sabathia and the Brewers, 5-2.

Actually, this could have been billed as the battle of starting pitchers who struggled last postseason against the Phillies.

Scott Kazmir was 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two World Series starts for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Phillies. In 10 innings, he walked 10 batters.

The Yankees took a 3-0 fourth-inning lead on a fielder's choice RBI by Robinson Cano and a two-run single by Melky Cabrera.

The inning ended on a bizarre play.

Johnny Damon flew out to centerfielder Torii Hunter, and Nick Swisher took off for home. Swisher crossed the plate, but it was ruled that he tagged up early, turning what would have been the fourth run into an inning-ending double play.

Afterward, third-base umpire Tim McClelland admitted that he got that call wrong, along with another one later in the game that should have been a double play for the Angels.

"Obviously, there were two missed calls," McClelland said.

Kazmir was replaced by Jason Bulger after Mark Teixeira led off the fifth inning with a single. In four-plus innings, Kazmir allowed four runs, and his wild side surfaced. He gave up six hits, walked four, and threw 89 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Rodriguez greeted Bulger with a two-run homer to left field.

It was A-Rod's fifth home run this postseason in seven games, tying him with Reggie Jackson for second in club history. Bernie Williams holds the team record of six homers in one postseason.

Rodriguez has 11 RBIs this postseason. Entering the playoffs, he had seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 39 postseason games.

"In other postseasons, I have failed and sometimes failed miserably," Rodriguez said. "It certainly feels good to come through for my team and help the team win."

Trailing by 5-0, the Angels got one back in the fifth on a one-out solo home run to center by first baseman Kendry Morales.

Johnny Damon's second home run in two days, a two-run shot in the eighth, extended the lead to 7-1. With the way Sabathia was pitching, it was more than enough support.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci

at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com.

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