ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Derek Jeter made Jered Weaver toil
through a 15-pitch at-bat leading off the game. It didn’t help the
New York Yankees in the long run, because they got only three hits
against the Los Angeles Angels’ ace in seven innings.
Weaver tied for the AL lead with his seventh victory _ 39 days
after getting his sixth one _ and No. 9 hitter Peter Bourjos
singled home the go-ahead run for the Angels on Friday night in a
3-2 victory that ended the Yankees’ four-game winning streak.
“That was the game plan all along _ go up there and just foul
off as many pitches as I could early on to get his pitch count
up,” Jeter joked. “It was a while, probably the longest I’ve been
up there. I’m not known for being up there too long.”
Jeter saw a total of 10 pitches in his other three plate
appearances. He has gone 43 consecutive plate appearances without
striking out, his longest stretch of the season.
“Weaver made some tough pitches,” Jeter added. “I don’t think
he threw any over the middle _ just inside corner, outside corner.
We’ve faced Weave enough. I’ve known him for a long time, and he’s
going to battle. You don’t go up there and plan on taking pitches
because he doesn’t walk too many guys.”
The 11-time All-Star, who came in 2 for 17 against Weaver,
fouled off nine straight 3-2 pitches before flying out to center
field. As he was rounding first base after the out, he and Weaver
made eye contact.
“I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’ That’s not the way you
want to start the game off,” Weaver said. “But he is who he is,
and he<s a battler. I'm glad we were able to get him out there. I
was just hoping to get through five innings after that.''
Eight years to the day that he was named the Yankees' 11th team
captain since 1900 and the first since Don Mattingly, Jeter went 0
for 3 with a walk and remained 16 hits shy of 3,000.
Weaver (7-4) allowed two runs, and four walks while striking out
eight in his first start against the Yankees since Game 3 of the
2009 AL championship series. The right-hander won his first six
starts of the season with a 0.99 ERA, and was 0-4 with a 3.38 ERA
over his next six outings after beating Oakland 5-0 for his fifth
Weaver threw 119 pitches. In the right-hander's previous start
last Saturday, he threw a career-high 128 pitches at Minnesota and
allowed just two hits but got no decision in the Angels' 1-0 loss.
The Yankees, who lead the majors with 82 home runs, failed to
hit one for the 12th time in their first 55 games. Weaver has
allowed only two homers in 65 innings over his last nine starts,
and six in 143 innings over his last 20 outings.
"He was just keeping us off-balance, mixing all his pitches and
pretty much painting with his fastball and not leaving too many in
the middle of the plate,'' Yankees catcher Russell Martin said.
"We managed to get his pitch count high early, but he managed to
stay in the game all the way through the seventh. He knows how to
pitch and he knows exactly what he's doing when he's out there.''
Scott Downs pitched a hitless eighth inning and rookie Jordan
Walden got three outs for his 13th save in 16 chances.
Rookie Ivan Nova (4-4) allowed three runs _ two earned _ and
eight hits in six-plus innings. The only Angels player the
24-year-old right-hander had faced previously was injured left
fielder Vernon Wells, who has missed the last 25 games because of a
Bourjos snapped a 2-all tie in the fourth, driving in Russell
Branyan with a line single through the left side with the bases
loaded. Nova minimized the damage by striking out Maicer Izturis
and retiring Erick Aybar on a flyball.
"I thought he did a good job of battling out there,'' Martin
said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he battled through some
tough innings and kept us in the game.''
Nova, who had allowed only one first-inning run in his 17
previous big league starts, fell behind 2-0 after five batters.
Former Yankee Bobby Abreu, who passed Lou Gehrig on the all-time
doubles list last Sunday, doubled to left-center in the first
inning to drive in the game's first run. He advanced on Martin's
passed ball and scored on Alberto Callaspo's groundout.
"I wasn't crossed up,'' Martin said. "It's just that he's got
so much movement on his fastball, it's kind of unpredictable
sometimes. It was just a ball that was up and I couldn't get a hold
of it. I mean, they can call it a passed ball if they want, but I
tried my best to catch that ball.''
Martin got one of the runs back in the second with an RBI single
after a leadoff double by Rodriquez. New York tied it in the fourth
when Jorge Posada broke out of a 1-for-18 skid with a ground-rule
double that scored Rodriguez, who drew a leadoff walk.
The hit came moments after a number of Yankee fans behind the
first base dugout started a chant of "Hip Hip Jorge!'' New York
did not get another hit the rest of the game.
NOTES: The Yankees are playing their first series at Angel
Stadium since April of last season, when Mark Teixeira wiped out
Bobby Wilson in a violent collision at home plate in the rookie's
first major league start behind the plate. It left Wilson with a
concussion and injured left ankle that sidelined him for 21 games.
… The Yankees are 318-223 in the regular season since Joe Girardi
replaced Torre as manager in 2008. Torre was 334-207 in his first
541 games in the job.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)