ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels had been waiting for a
start like this.
Ramon Ortiz gave the struggling rotation a big lift, pitching 5
1-3 solid innings Thursday night as Anaheim beat the New York
Yankees 6-2 to avoid a sweep in the rematch of last year's playoff
"We're very happy with Ramon's performance, going five good
innings against those guys," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"That's what we need from our starters."
Ortiz (3-2) allowed two runs on eight hits, including Bernie
Williams' leadoff homer in the sixth.
"They have a lot of good hitters, but I was making my
pitches," said Ortiz, who struck out five and walked one.
Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer in the second inning after
Tim Salmon had a solo shot in the first as the Angels beat Andy
Pettitte and ended a 16-0 run by New York starting pitchers to
begin the season.
"We definitely realized we had a good thing going," said
Pettitte, who gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings.
"You don't want to be the one to stop it."
The loss ended the Yankees' seven-game winning streak and was
just their fourth defeat in 22 games this season.
"It would be nice to win 150-155 games, but it's not going to
happen," manager Joe Torre said. "This was a game we weren't
supposed to win, because we didn't pitch well enough to win. You
have to understand that that's going to happen."
Pettitte (3-1) walked three and struck out three.
"I just felt out of synch the whole night. From the get-go,
they were getting fly balls, so I kind of knew my stuff wasn't
moving the way it's supposed to," he said.
New York pitchers have allowed only seven homers this season.
Giambi was scratched from the starting lineup because of a
bruised middle finger on his left hand, hurt when he was hit by a
pitch the previous night.
"Facing Giambi was obviously a huge challenge for Brendan,"
Scioscia said. "To strike him out there was huge."
The Angels eliminated the Yankees in four games in their
best-of-five series in the first round of the playoffs last
October, ending their run of four straight AL pennants.
In the first two meetings this year, the Yankees beat the Angels
8-3 and 9-2.
In the series finale, Salmon drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in
left-center with two outs in the first inning, his sixth home run.
Molina also homered to left-center on a 1-0 pitch for his first of
the year, giving the Angels a 4-0 lead.
Pettitte had a scare in the third inning when Shawn Wooten hit a
liner directly at the pitcher's face. Pettitte was able to jerk his
glove up just in time and the ball smacked into it and stayed there
as the pitcher tumbled backward.
The Yankees' three earlier defeats this year were all by one
Giambi was hurt in the seventh inning of Wednesday night's
victory when Scott Schoeneweis hit him with a pitch. It was the
fourth time this season that Giambi was hit, after getting plunked
a career-high 15 times last year. ... New York 2B Alfonso Soriano
singled in the fifth inning to run his career-high hitting streak
to 12 games. ... Salmon has a 13-game hitting streak. ... Angels GM
Bill Stoneman and other team officials briefed the players and
staff on the procedures they will follow next week in Toronto,
where the sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has claimed 16
lives. "It's obviously going to heighten your level of concern,"
Scioscia said. "But I don't think major league baseball is going
to put anyone at risk. If they're going to play games in Toronto
right now, they're going to be very sure that there's not going to
be a risk." ... Anaheim CF Darin Erstad missed his fourth straight
game with soreness in his hamstring, but is expected back in the
lineup in a day or two.