Alex Rodriguez is turning this into the postseason that erases all of previous failures.
After Gary Matthews scored to make it 3-2 Angels in the top of the 11th, Rodriguez hit a tying homer in the 11th inning and the Yankees edged the Angels 4-3 Saturday night on Maicer Izturis’ throwing error in the 13th for a 2-0 lead in the ALCS.
After the rain came and went on another chilly night, New York pulled out its latest late-inning thriller. The game ended at 1:07 a.m. when Izturis threw away Melky Cabrera’s grounder to second base. Jerry Hairston ran around third to home and slid safely. For his winning run, Hairston got a pie in the face from starting pitcher AJ Burnett.
The Yankees used eight pitchers, starting with AJ Burnett going 6.1 innings, allowing three hits, two runs, while walking two and striking out four. Burnett ran into trouble in the fifth and threw a wild pitch that tied the game 2-2. He settled down the next two innings to keep the game close. Then Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain, and Phil Hughes all struck out a batter to bring in Mariano Rivera, who pitched 2.1 innings, striking out two with only 25 pitches. Dave Robertson was the winning pitcher tonight.
The Yankees’ lineup didn’t fare well. The 3-4-5 hitters went 2 for 15, with the two hits being A-Rod’s homer and Matsui’s single. Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera both had two hits for the Yankees, who totaled 13 hits as a club, but gave up three errors in this cold, wet night.
With the day off for a cross-country trip tonight, the Yankees will face the Angels in Anaheim Monday night, with Andy Pettitte taking the ball. The Yankees now only need two more victories to get to the World Series.