ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Derek Jeter doesn't think there's any reason to be alarmed.
The New York Yankees haven't fared well against two first-place teams in the American League. They are 0-8 against the rival Boston Red Sox, and now 2-4 against the Angels after being swept in Southern California.John Lackey pitched seven solid innings and the Angels knocked around CC Sabathia to complete a sweep of New York with a 5-4 victory Sunday."You can't change it now. You have to make adjustments," Jeter said. "What happened against Boston is a long time ago. Here they beat us three games, but we battled."So is it a setback?"I don't think it is. It's over now," Jeter said.Lackey (4-4) quickly worked through the Yankees lineup, allowing two runs on six hits. The Angels' ace struck out six in one of his most efficient starts of the season."He was spotting up very well today," said Mark Teixeira, Lackey's former teammate. "He made pitches when he needed to. John's been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last six or seven years and he showed that today."Sabathia (8-6) gave up five runs and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings against the Angels, who have won eight of their last nine meetings against the Yankees in Anaheim.Brian Fuentes struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out and earned his 26th save in 29 chances.Sabathia, who was 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA away from Yankee Stadium entering the game, was solid through three innings. He got help from Rodriguez and Robinson Cano on two double plays to get out of the first and third, but he gave up four runs in the fourth.Bobby Abreu and Howie Kendrick had RBI doubles and Brandon Wood and Robb Quinlan added RBI singles."We had some guys go down, but that just shows the depth of the organization," Chone Figgins said, referring to the loss of All-Star Torii Hunter (strained adductor) and slugger Vladimir Guerrero (strained muscle) to injuries. "Lackey showed why he's the ace of this team, and we got some clutch hitting and some really good defense. When you do stuff like that, you have the opportunity to win a lot games."The Yankees finished 3-3 on their trip before the All-Star break and dropped to 5-15 this season against four teams in first at the break: Boston, Detroit, the Angels and Philadelphia."We don't like it, but we can't let this carry into Friday. We have four days off, we have a chance to regroup," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said."You're going to go through those streaks, so let's end it on Friday and get back to what we're used to doing."Los Angeles tacked on a run in the seventh when Maicer Izturis hit an RBI single.New York tried to rally in the seventh and the eighth, but the Angels got out of bases-loaded jams twice.Jorge Posada drove in runs in both innings to cut the Angels' lead to 5-4, and the Yankees looked like they could do some damage with none out in both situations.But Los Angeles got stellar defensive plays to end both innings.Lackey struck out Mark Teixeira and Chone Figgins turned a double play on Rodriguez to halt New York and get the crowd roaring in the seventh."Figgins' play was huge. It was a tough play, and he made an outstanding pick," Lackey said. "Then Kendry on the other end made another nice pick. It was awesome."Darren Oliver fielded pinch-hitter Nick Swisher's line drive cleanly and turned it into a double play by getting Melky Cabrera out at first to end the eighth."It got there in a hurry. With a ball hit that hard, you're just reacting," Oliver said. "I'm happy it went in my glove. That's not the first time it's happened to me. When you go out there and throw strikes, you never know what can happen."Lackey wasn't the only one impressed with Figgins' snag."Those are two of the most unbelievable double plays I've seen. It's just one of those things. The Angels were being the Angels," Rodriguez said.
Posada was supposed to catch two of three games against the Angels, but was subbed for Jose Molina to give the Yankees a better chance of slowing the Angels running game, Girardi said before the game. ... Rodriguez needs three home runs to tie Harmon Killebrew on the all-time home run list. ... Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he has yet to announce the pitching rotation for after the All-Star break. ... RHP Sergio Mitre pitched eight scoreless innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a 3-2 win over Buffalo on Sunday and could take over as the Yankees' fifth starter after the break.