ANAHEIM, Calif. – Just when all looked lost, the Los Angeles Angels took a cue from an old friend.
With their Rally Monkey doing his best work in years, the Angels sent the American League Championship Series back to New York.
Kendry Morales drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the seventh inning, and the Angels responded to the Yankees’ six-run comeback moments earlier for a 7-6 win Thursday night that trimmed New York’s lead in the ALCS to 3-2.
Vladimir Guerrero’s single tied it in the seventh for the Angels, who somehow didn’t surrender after blowing a 4-0 lead.
New York struck immediately after manager Mike Scioscia removed ace John Lackey, with Robinson Cano capping the rally with a two-run triple.
The Game 5 theatrics continued right up to the final pitch, when Angels closer Brian Fuentes retired Nick Swisher on a full-count popup with the bases loaded.
“My hair is falling out,” said shaved-headed Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, who had a two-run single in Los Angeles’ four-run first inning. “We’re having a little fun, man. Everybody thought we were down.”
Game 6 is Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, with Andy Pettitte facing Los Angeles’ Joe Saunders. Also in the forecast: a huge rainstorm.
When Cano put New York up 6-4, everything in somber Angel Stadium pointed to a clinching victory and a 40th A.L. pennant for the Yankees.
Instead, the Angels showed off the knack for late-game comebacks they’ve possessed since their run to their only championship in 2002, when the beloved Rally Monkey began appearing in the late innings on their scoreboard and in plush form in the stands.
“It’s a missed opportunity, but we still have another game,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’ve bounced back from tough losses all year long. We’ve had it happen to us before and been able to get off the carpet.”
Although two games in the Bronx – and shutdown starter CC Sabathia – still stand in the Angels’ way, the collapse raised the slightest echoes of what happened to the Yankees’ last big lead in an ALCS. The Red Sox famously rallied from a 0-3 deficit in 2004. Only six teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win a league championship series – most recently in 2007. Including the World Series, 11 of 70 teams that fell into a 3-1 hole have made the comeback.
Angels 7, Yankees 6
a-struck out for J.Molina in the 5th.
1-ran for J.Rivera in the 8th. 2-ran for A.Rodriguez in the 9th. 3-ran for H.Matsui in the 9th.
LOB—New York 10, Los Angeles 7. 2B—Teixeira (1), A.Rodriguez (2), Me.Cabrera (2), B.Abreu (2), Guerrero (2), J.Rivera (1), J.Mathis (4). 3B—Cano (2). RBIs—Teixeira 3 (3), H.Matsui (3), Cano 2 (4), B.Abreu (1), Tor.Hunter 2 (2), Guerrero 2 (4), K.Morales 2 (4). SB—Tor.Hunter (1), E.Aybar (3). S—Figgins.
Runners left in scoring position—New York 6 (H.Matsui, Cano 2, Swisher 3); Los Angeles 5 (K.Morales, E.Aybar, M.Izturis, B.Abreu 2).
Runners moved up—H.Matsui, B.Abreu. GIDP—J.Rivera, E.Aybar.
DP—New York 2 (A.Rodriguez, Cano, Teixeira), (Cano, Jeter, Teixeira).
|D.Marte H, 1||2/3||0||0||0||0||0||4||0.00|
|Hghs L, 0-1||1/3||2||1||1||1||1||18||3.38|
|Olivr BS, 1-1||0||2||3||3||1||0||8||7.36|
|Jpsn W, 1-0||1/3||1||0||0||0||0||5||2.45|
|Jr.Wevr H, 1||1||0||0||0||0||2||11||4.50|
|Funts S, 1-2||1||0||0||0||2||0||24||3.00|
Oliver pitched to 3 batters in the 7th.
A.Burnett pitched to 2 batters in the 7th.
Inherited runners-scored—D.Marte 2-1, P.Hughes 1-1, Ma.Rivera 2-0, Oliver 3-3, Jepsen 2-2. IBB—off Oliver (A.Rodriguez), off Fuentes (A.Rodriguez). HBP—by Fuentes (Cano). WP—A.Burnett. T—3:34. A—45,113 (45,257).