There’s a very good chance that the Angels and New York Yankees are bound for the playoffs and if this past weekend’s three-game series is any indication, a matchup in October would be exciting.
Last Sunday in the Bronx, the Yankees (33-16) used Masahiro Tanaka’s three-hitter for a 3-1 victory and in the process claimed two of three.
Tanaka (6-2) struck out eight with three walks and one run across six innings while closer Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 11th save after fanning two and walking one.
New York scored its runs in the third inning when Aaron Hicks drew a bases-loaded walk for a run.
Greg Bird, who singled and played in his second game this season, was hit by a pitch with the bags filled for a tally and Miguel Andujar’s force out also scored a run.
For the Angels (29-24), Andrelton Simmons delivered the lone run, a homer to left field in the sixth.
Saturday’s match was taken by the Angels 11-4 as Mike Trout accounted for a career-best five hits and 11 total bases.
Trout’s run-scoring double to left in the first inning supplied the Halos with a 1-0 lead and Trout’s double and run in the third trimmed New York’s cushion to 4-3.
When Trout crushed a 419-foot two-run homer (team-leading 17th) to left in the fourth with two out, the Angels darted in front 5-4.
“It’s always fun to play here and against the Yankees,’’ said Trout, a New Jersey native after scoring three runs and now having 34 runs batted in. “I see the ball good.’’
Trout’s third double, a run-producer to left center, was part of a four-run sixth that included a two-run single by Albert Pujols that made it 9-4.
In the seventh inning, Trout was safe on an infield single, but the highlight came when Jose Briceno (two hits and two runs), playing in his first big league game, scorched a two-run shot to left for an 11-4 lead.
With the victory, Manager Mike Scioscia tied Hall of Famer and former Dodgers skipper Tommy Lasorda with 1,599 wins.
The Bombers scored two runs in the first inning when Brett Gardner led off with a homer to right and Aaron Judge (two hits) sliced a bullet (14th) to right center.
When Austin Romine (two hits) clubbed a one-out, two-run rocket that hit the right-field foul pole in the second, the Yankees darted ahead 4-1.
Gleyber Torres, at age 21, became the youngest player in American League history to hit four straight homers when he poked a two-out solo blast to right field in the seventh on Friday that gave the Yanks a 2-1 decision.
An infield hit by Torres in the second scored a run, but Trout’s solo homer in the fifth tied it.
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.