By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Robinson Cano hit a grand slam after Maicer
Izturis’ two-out error in the seventh inning and the New York
Yankees overcame another shaky performance by Mariano Rivera to
beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 Thursday.
Rivera gave up a three-run homer to pinch-hitter Russell Branyan
on his first pitch in the ninth before getting two outs for his
Bobby Abreu connected against Rivera on Tuesday night for the
first homer off the All-Star closer at Yankee Stadium since May 16,
2010. Rivera also faltered at Boston on Sunday night.
Curtis Granderson followed his two double-play balls with a
tying, two-run homer in the sixth for the Yankees.
It was 2-all in the seventh when Mark Teixeira hit a routine
bouncer toward Izturis, but the ball hit off the second baseman’s
glove when he looked for the throw before securing the ball. Two
pitches later, Cano lined a shot from Scott Downs off the facing of
the second deck in right field for his 20th homer of the year.
Cano took a nice easy trot around the bases after taxing himself
earlier_ in the second, he took off for second base five times on
full-count pitches that Nick Swisher fouled off. He ran for a sixth
straight time when Swisher grounded out.
Relegated to cheerleader since losing his designated hitter job
last weekend, Jorge Posada urged Cano out of the dugout for a
Alberto Callapso had given the Angels a 2-0 lead with a two-run
homer off Bartolo Colon in the fifth before the Yankees rallied to
win the three-game series after dropping the opener.
Fernando Rodney (2-4) gave up two walks in the seventh for the
Angels, who lost just their second series in the last 16 (13-2-1).
Derek Jeter had three singles _ two infield hits _ and a walk to
raise his average in day games to .352 (38 for 108).
Rafael Soriano (2-1) allowed his first baserunner _ Bobby
Wilson’s one-out single _ since returning from the disabled list
July 29 in the seventh. He extended his scoreless stretch to six
innings by getting two flyouts after the hit.
Cory Wade gave up two one-out hits in the ninth before giving
way for Rivera.
New York had runners on base in each of the first four innings,
with Brett Gardner advancing to third base with one out in the
third. But Tyler Chatwood got inning-ending double plays from
Granderson in the first and third, each coming after Jeter singled.
Granderson came through after Jeter’s infield hit in the sixth,
though. He lofted Chatwood’s pitch on a high arc and right fielder
Bobby Abreu ranged back and waited to see if the ball would clear
the wall. It did, and Granderson had his fourth homer in the
Erick Aybar snapped an 0-for-30 skid with a slow roller that
made it about halfway up the third-base line for a single. Callapso
then turned on a 2-2 pitch, pulling it into the second deck down
the right field line for a 2-0 lead.
Colon gave up two runs and five hits against his former team. He
walked two and struck out three.
Chatwood was as calm and efficient as his 38-year-old opponent,
the 2005 Cy Young Award winner. He yielded eight hits and two runs
in 5 1-3 innings.
NOTES: Gardner was caught stealing in the eighth to snap his
streak of 22 straight steals. … Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez (knee
surgery) is set to play in his first rehab game Friday. He will be
the designated hitter. On Saturday, he will play in the field.
Manager Joe Girardi said he expects A-Rod back late next week…
Angels manager Mike Scioscia would not identify a starter for
Monday against Texas. He did say the starter will come from the big
league club, not a callup. … The Angels travel next to Toronto.
Ervin Santana (8-8) faces Brandon Morrow (8-6) on Friday night.
Santana is 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his past eight starts. … The
Yankees play host to the Tampa Bay Rays. A matchup of aces: CC
Sabathia (16-6) vs. David Price.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)