Yankees destroy Angels to pick up their eighth straight victory

ANAHEIM, Calif. — By the time the top of the first was over, the Angels were the latest Yankees’ victim and quickly went into survival mode by attempting to dodge the line drives that filled Angel Stadium on Saturday night and sparked several “Let’s go Yankees’’ chants.

When the Yankees were done stomping the Angels’ pitchers in the first two innings, the visitors had a double-digit lead on the way to an easy, 11-1, victory that was witnessed by a sold-out crowd of 44,649 and extended the Yankees’ winning streak to eight games.

With a 10-0 lead to work with after the Yankees batted twice Masahiro Tanaka breezed to his second straight victory and third in four starts. In six innings Tanaka gave up a run, two hits, walked two and whiffed a season high nine. The only blemish was Zack Cozart’s leadoff homer in the fifth. Tanaka is 4-2.

Tanaka retired the first eight Angels before walking Martin Maldonado in front of getting Ian Kinsler on a routine fly to right to end the third. Mike Trout opened the fourth inning with a line single to left and the last drop of drama exited the ballpark.

The victory hiked the Yankees’ record to 17-9 and coupled with the Red Sox losing to the Rays pulled them to within two games of the AL East leaders.

CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees on Sunday when they attempt to sweep the Angels three straight and send them to Houston for a four-game set with the defending World Series champions that opens Monday night.

Lefty Tyler Skaggs goes for the 16-11 Angels, who have dropped three straight.

During the winning streak the Yankees have outscored the opposition 62-17.

Last June 12 the Yankees opened a three-game series against the Angels with a 5-3 win at Angel Stadium that stretched a
winning streak to six games and increased the AL East lead to four lengths over the second-place Red Sox.

Nevertheless, the Yankees dropped the next two to the Angels then were swept in four games in Oakland.

The chances of the Angels bouncing back from Friday night’s 4-3 defeat vanished early on Saturday evening when the competitive portion of the game was over quickly.

With Angels starter Garrett Richards unable to throw the fastball for strikes early in the count Yankees hitters waited for some other pitch and feasted on almost everything the right-hander threw in 1 ²/₃ innings in which he gave up nine runs (five earned), five hits and three walks.

The Yankees sent nine batters to the plate in the first and 10 in the second when they scored five times in each frame.

Helping fuel the first-inning rally was Cozart committing a fielding error on Giancarlo Stanton’s grounder with two runners on and one out. Cozart was playing short because Andrelton Simmons, the Angels’ regular shortstop, was held out with a sore right forearm. Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar delivered RBI doubles

The Yankees added five more runs in the second when Richards was replaced by Eduardo Paredes. Aaron Hicks delivered the biggest blow with a two-run triple to right.

After going 0-for-5 and striking out four times on Friday night, Aaron Judge went 3-for-6. Hicks, who was on the field hours before the game taking extra batting practice, drove in three runs. Miguel Andujar contributed three hits and Neil Walker had two hits and two RBIs.

The only Yankees starters without a hit were Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius, and they each walked and scored a run.

As for the Angels, Albert Pujols remains five hits shy of 3,000 after going hitless in four at-bats.

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