ALCS: Angels prevail in 11 inningsAfter 261 minutes, 14 pitchers, six homers and several big blunders all led to a winning hit by a backup catcher, the Los Angeles Angels finally handed the Yankees their first postseason loss in this cuckoo AL championship series.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After 261 minutes, 14 pitchers, six homers and several big blunders all led to a winning hit by a backup catcher, the Los Angeles Angels finally handed the Yankees their first postseason loss in this cuckoo AL championship series.
Jeff Mathis hit a two-out double in the 11th inning to drive home the winning run and the Angels survived a second straight extra-inning thriller, beating the Yankees 5-4 Monday and trimming New York’s ALCS lead to 2-1.
Part-time infielder Howie Kendrick homered and tripled before singling with two outs in the 11th. Mathis followed with his drive up against the left-field wall, and Kendrick slid home well ahead of a desperate throw.
Mathis, a .211 hitter in the regular season, came up with his third late-inning, extra-base hit of this outlandish series, just two days after the clubs’ 310-minute, 13-inning icy epic in Game 2.
“Obviously, it’s the biggest hit of my life,” Mathis said. “For Howie to have the at-bat he did right there, and to get on base and put one in the gap to win the game, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Game 4 is Tuesday night, with CC Sabathia pitching on three days’ rest against Angels newcomer Scott Kazmir. Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday.
Vladimir Guerrero also homered as the Angels overcame a 3-0 deficit and four solo homers by the Yankees’ stars, including Jorge Posada’s tying shot in the eighth. Bobby Abreu made a big baserunning mistake, Joba Chamberlain flopped, and Mariano Rivera made a gutsy stand with the bases loaded in the 10th before Kendrick and Mathis made it all academic.
For the second straight game, the Angels and Yankees played into tense extra innings, stretching nerves and bullpens still frayed from Saturday’s marathon New York victory at Yankee Stadium.
“This is the type of series we expected it to be,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.