Those who had not left Yankee Stadium in disgust after seeing Yankee pitching allow 10 runs and 15 hits to the Angels were on their feet by the time Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth.
Granderson drew a walk to make the formerly insurmountable deficit a two-run game.
They were still standing in anticipation as Alex Rodriguez came to the plate, but third baseman popped out to Albert Pujols in shallow right field to end a 10-8 loss to the Angels.
“What an awesome situation to come up in,” Rodriguez said. “I just came
up a little short. It’s an awesome situation, but [a] lousy result.”
There were not any boos when Rodriguez popped up the 98 mph fastball from Kevin Jespen, because perhaps what they witnessed was closing on remarkable.
“You think he’s going to get a big hit there,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Obviously you do. He swung the bat well yesterday. He swung the bat well today. He had some big swings today and even that last at-bat he had some big swings.”
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The Yankees lost for just the 13th time in their last 56 games, a stretch that began May 22 with them as a .500 team.
“It’s an awesome situation,” Rodriguez said. “It’s exactly what you want. Jeter and Granderson and all the guys, they did an awesome job to keep the inning going, to keep the rally going. I put a good swing on it. I just popped it up.”
It was a loss primarily caused by a poor performance from Ivan Nova, who pitched without any effective secondary pitches and was ripped for six runs and nine hits, including three home runs. Chad Qualls allowed three runs in the eighth after the Yankees made it a one-run contest.
Those poor performances led up to the events of the ninth, which started with Robinson Cano drawing a walk off Ernesto Frieri.
Moments after Cano reached first, Teixeira launched the first pitch into the second deck in right field. Nick Swisher walked and Raul Ibanez hit a sure out that went off Downs’s glove for an infield single.??The Yankees had two on and nobody out, but pinch hitter Andruw Jones struck out and Russell Martin grounded out. That brought up Derek Jeter, who walked on four pitches.??Down to their last out, Granderson set the stage for Rodriguez, who had hit the first of four Yankee home runs earlier in the game.
“Everyone is just trying to get on because they know they can’t win it themselves no matter what they happen to do,” Granderson said. “To be in the situation with an opportunity to do it, just shows you where the team is.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.