By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Minus Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, the New York Yankees used a pair of relievers to close out the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Monday night and preserve the win for Hiroki Kuroda.
Kuroda (11-7) tossed three-hit ball for eight shutout innings.
Rivera was given the night off after blowing three straight save chances, including one Sunday. Fans chanted “We want Mo!” after Boone Logan relieved to begin the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to J.B. Shuck that hit first base.
Rivera was not even seen in the Yankees bullpen in the ninth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game that he wanted to give Rivera a night off after the career saves leader pitched three times in the past five days.
The Angels got close after Logan struck out Kole Calhoun. Robertson walked Mike Trout, and Josh Hamilton followed with a flare just beyond the reach of third baseman Alex Rodriguez for an RBI double.
Erick Aybar was intentionally walked to load the bases. Robertson then struck out Mark Trumbo and ex-Yankee Chris Nelson on a high, full-count pitch to end it for his first save this seson.
Curtis Granderson homered in the seventh inning and Brett Gardner had an RBI single in the third.
The Yankees’ most dependable starter, Kuroda has not allowed a run in five of his last seven outings to lower his ERA to 2.33. An Angels lineup missing injured Albert Pujols reached base only four times against the Japanese right-hander. Kuroda struck out seven and walked one.
Granderson connected off Garrett Richards for his third homer of the season in his 59th at-bat of an injury-plagued season.
Richards (3-4) was impressive in his first start at Yankee Stadium since his big league debut in 2011. He allowed seven hits in eight innings and made several nice plays on comebackers.
Rodriguez started at third base for the second straight day for the first time since returning from hip surgery last week. The fickle New York fans gave him a mixed reception when he came to the plate it in the first, and cheered when he singled. But the boos grew as he hit into two 6-4-3 double plays, one in the fourth and another in the sixth, the latter with runners on first and second and one out.
Batting .221 in his first year with Los Angeles, Hamilton doubled to open the second, but grounded into a double play after Trout had an infield hit leading off the seventh for the Angels’ second hit.
Rodriguez got New York’s first hit, a leadoff single in the second but he was caught running on Lyle Overbay’s strikeout to end a 10-pitch at-bat.
Eduardo Nunez singled with one out in the third, advanced on Chris Stewart’s groundout and scored on Gardner’s single.
NOTES: Trout’s high school baseball field in New Jersey was dedicated in his honor earlier Monday in a ceremony at the Empire State Building. … Angels LHP Jason Vargas (6-4) is set to come off the disabled list (blood clot) Tuesday and start against CC Sabathia (9-10). Angels manager Mike Scioscia would not say who will be coming out of the rotation. … Yankees SS (right calf strain) Derek Jeter began “tee and toss” today in the indoor cage. … Trout appeared on a New York sports radio station earlier Monday and said PED users “should be out of the game if you get caught.” When asked about his comments later in the Angels clubhouse, he referred all questions to the team’s player rep, C.J. Wilson.
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