In the big inning

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “If you’re playing back in that situation, a line drive in front of you scores two runs,” said Angels coach Ron Roenicke, who positions the outfielders. “We just put (outfielders) in place where (hitters) are apt to hit the ball, and (Cano) smoked it. In general, not too many left-handers drive the ball in this ballpark the opposite way.” But Cano did, and it was the difference in the game. “Since I was a little kid, I used to hit the ball to left field,” Cano said. “That’s something I’ve been working on the whole year here in the big leagues, and to use the whole field.” Colon pounded his fist into his glove after the play, upset he couldn’t get the final out of the inning. “I was looking to throw a fastball away, but it was maybe a little higher than I wanted,” Colon said of the 2-2 pitch. “He hit it higher than I thought he would.” Anderson was unavailable for comment because he left the ballpark before reporters were allowed into the clubhouse after the game. Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Derek Jeter had two hits apiece for the Yankees, who could not muster any more offense after the second inning. Colon, the probable Cy Young Award winner in the American League, had his worst start of the season this year against the Yankees back on April 26 in a 12-4 loss. Tuesday, he settled down after his early-inning troubles and went seven innings, allowing four runs and eight hits. He allowed only one Yankees base runner to reach scoring position after the second inning, but by then, the damage had been done. Mussina, who carried a 14-8 career record against the Angels into the game, shut out the Angels on five hits through 5 innings. The Angels’ only runs of the game came on Bengie Molina’s solo homer off Tanyon Sturtze with one out in the seventh inning, and Darin Erstad’s one-out RBI single in the ninth off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who earned the save. Their best opportunity to get to Mussina came in the second inning when Juan Rivera singled with two out and Steve Finley followed with a liner into the right-field corner that took a Yankees bounce when it one-hopped into the seats. “I think the key (play) was the ball bouncing into the seats,” Mussina said. “Because Rivera was going to score if the ball stays in play, and Finley might have ended up on third.” Adam Kennedy popped out to left to end the threat. “I get a base hit in the second and the lead is cut in half, and (the 4-0 deficit) is not that big of a deal,” Kennedy said. “After that we couldn’t get much going.” Colon retired the first two batters of the game, then yielded consecutive singles to Giambi, Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, setting the stage for Cano, who came up with the biggest hit of his young career. “The kid had a great at-bat,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “That’s not easy to do. To have that kind of an at-bat in that kind of situation was really something.” The Yankees added to their lead in the second inning, again coming up with clutch two-out hits. After Colon struck out both Bernie Williams and Bubba Crosby to begin the inning, Jeter singled to spark the rally. Colon fell behind in the count to Alex Rodriguez, 2-0, then drilled him with a pitch in the back. Rodriguez has hit Colon well during his career, batting .442 (19 for 43) with seven home runs, including three in one game earlier this season. Giambi followed with his second hit in the day, a line drive into the right-field corner to drive home Jeter for a 4-0 Yankees lead. Through the first two innings, the Yankees were 6-for-8 with two outs, and Colon had already made 48 pitches. Losing the first game of a playoff series is nothing new to the Angels, who lost the first game in each of their three series in 2002, and they won all three. “Obviously it wasn’t by design then and it’s not by design now,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We have to keep playing our game, and we have to do a little better job offensively.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Angels had no need for a closer, not after their starter struggled early and put them in a hole from which they could not climb out. The Yankees jumped on Bartolo Colon in the first inning and rode the arm of starter Mike Mussina and the Yankees bullpen to a 4-2 victory and 1-0 series lead before a crowd of 45,142 at Angel Stadium. With all of the Yankees’ offensive firepower, it was rookie Robinson Cano who came up with the big hit, a two-out, three-run double in the first inning that set the tone for the night. Angels left fielder Garret Anderson, who had played left field only once since Sept. 20 because of a sore back, was playing shallow by design and got a poor jump on the ball. center_img ANAHEIM – The Angels might have hoped to relive some of that postseason magic of 2002 when they asked ex-Angels pitcher Troy Percival to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. Maybe that was the problem: Percival, wearing jeans and a black shirt, was throwing the first pitch of the game, not the last. last_img read more