NEW YORK (AP) -- Thunder boomed. Lightning cracked. Even the
weather turns ominous when Esteban Loaiza is on the mound these
Jose Guillen and Jeff DaVanon homered off the newest target of
booing fans at Yankee Stadium, and Loaiza failed to make it out of
the fourth inning Saturday in the Angels' storm-interrupted 6-1 win
over New York, a game that took 6½ hours to complete.
"New York is like no other place," Yankees manager Joe Torre
said. "It could be cruel, but it could be also wonderful. The fans
know what they want to see. They're behind your back and at your
back at the drop of a hat. They like to win. Go out there and have
a good outing, and that stuff is by the boards."
Acquired from the White Sox on July 31 for Jose Contreras,
Loaiza (9-7) has made himself nearly superfluous in the Yankees'
current six-man rotation, going 0-2 with a 7.08 ERA in four starts.
After compiling a 21-9 record last year for Chicago and finishing
second to Toronto's Roy Halladay in AL Cy Young Award voting, he's
allowed 29 homers, the third-highest total in the league, and could
lose his starting job when New York goes back to a five-man
rotation at the end of the month.
"I'm going through a slump right now," he said. "I'm really
confident. I just wish that everything can turn around and go my
Already, there has been talk that he will be dealt again.
"I kiddingly said to him the other day when I first heard about
it, `Welcome to New York," Torre said.
Anaheim, which has won four straight and 12 of 16, goes for a
three-game sweep Sunday, the finale of a six-game trip. The Angels,
just behind the pace in the AL West and the wild-card race, held
New York to one run in the first two games of the series.
"We match up with them pretty well, and they've been struggling
a little lately," said Guillen, who fouled a ball off an ankle and
left after the rain delay.
New York, playing its worst ball since early April, has lost
five of its last six and been outscored 33-8 in the defeats.
"It was flatter today than yesterday. We're down right now,"
Torre said. "We're not playing well."
New York's AL East lead over second-place Boston, which stood at
10½ games on Monday, is down to 6½ games, the Yankees' smallest
margin since July 11.
"I don't think we're uncomfortable," Alex Rodriguez said. "We
are where we want to be."
Anaheim went ahead in the second. Rodriguez couldn't come up
with Guillen's grounder that went for a double that put runners on
second and third, then picked up Bengie Molina's one-out,
bases-loaded grounder, stepped on third base but threw wildly to
first for an error. John Flaherty's homer off Aaron Sele tied it in
The skies darkened in the fourth, when Loaiza faced five batters
and didn't retire any.
The crowd booed loudly after Guillen's homer on an 0-2 pitch put
Anaheim ahead 2-1, again when DaVanon homered three pitches later,
and yet again when Chone Figgins' drive into the right-field upper
deck hooked just foul.
After Figgins hit an RBI single, Torre came out to remove
Loaiza, and fans booed some more when the pitcher walked back to
the dugout. Then came the 3-hour, 42-minute delay.
While the rain slowed several times, umpires knew the forecast
and waited out the weather. Only about 5,000 fans from the original
sellout crowd of 54,008 remained after the delay.
"I don't think there was a lot more that could be done, as it
turned out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "They were very
accurate about the timing of it."
Scot Shields (7-2) relieved Sele after the rain delay pitched
three scoreless innings for the win, Anaheim's ninth in 10 road
games. He combined with Brendan Donnelly and Francisco Rodriguez
for shutout relief.
"As the time kept going by, I thought Aaron would not be going
out there," Shields said in the clubhouse. "I was just relaxing
in here, the same way I do in the bullpen."
After the delay, former Yankee Curtis Pride added a
run-scoring single in the seventh off Tanyon Sturtze, and Garret
Anderson had an RBI double in the ninth off C.J. Nitkowski. ... The
Yankees' Jason Giambi, recovering from a parasite and a benign
tumor, could run outdoors Sunday for the first time since straining
his left groin Tuesday. He ran in an indoor pool and went through
an upper body workout Saturday. "Everything was good in the
pool," Giambi said. "I think tomorrow we're going to get on the
ground. We haven't had any setbacks. Tomorrow is a big day." ...
Angels LHP Jarrod Washburn (ribcage) threw off a bullpen mound for
the third time in five days and could start a rehabilitation
assignment next week. ... RHP Phillip Hughes, the Yankees' top pick
in June's amateur draft, will not pitch for the rest of this season
after breaking his right toe.