The Official Site of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Simmons' HR caps Halos' rally past Yankees
By Barry M. Bloom and Kaelen Jones
ANAHEIM -- Andrelton Simmons smashed a go-ahead, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to gift the Angels a 7-5 win and capture a series victory over the Yankees in front of a sellout crowd at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night.
"I'm happy for me and my team that we came back from that early deficit," Simmons said. "The bullpen kept us in the game, and we put up good at-bats. I'm just glad I got to get the team a go-ahead home run."
The Yankees jumped ahead, 4-0, when Gary Sanchez crushed a three-run homer during the top of the first inning before the Angels chipped away at the deficit.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena nearly lifted a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the first inning, but New York center fielder Aaron Hicks kept the ball in the park with a leaping grab to render the hit a one-run sacrifice fly.
"We did a good job on the offensive end," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Despite squandering a first-inning four-spot, New York starting pitcher Michael Pineda was able to draw a no-decision thanks to Chase Headley's one-run single in the top of the sixth. Pineda tossed six innings, relinquishing five runs on 10 hits and one walk, while striking out two.
"I thought his location was off. He wasn't down in the zone tonight for whatever reasons," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Pineda. "I thought he battled good. It looked like he was going to get knocked out in about the third inning and he ended up giving us six innings."
"I'm just really annoyed and frustrated by it, because like anyone else, I want to go out there and pitch, help our team win," Shoemaker said. "I know we're going to see the next couple of days how it feels, how it reacts, which hopefully should be fine."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Aaron, to the rescue!: Valbuena nearly tied the game when he lifted a ball deep into center field in the bottom of the first. But Hicks leapt into the air to rob him of a potential grand slam, relegating it to a one-run sac fly, and preserving the Yankees' lead at 4-1.
The night is Young's: Young got the better of Judge not once, but twice on Wednesday. Young threw out Judge at the plate to end the top of the fifth when the veteran fielded Castro's single in left, then roped a throw home well ahead of Judge, maintaining the Halos' 5-4 lead. Young also robbed Judge with a diving catch in left field during the top of the seventh. The play prevented runners on first and second base from advancing in the process, keeping the score tied at 5-5.
"I don't remember. Maybe softball, but not baseball. ... The videos from [Texas third baseman Adrian] Beltre probably helped." -- Simmons, on whether he's ever hit a home run from his knees as he did when he launched Wednesday's go-ahead blast
"The real story tonight is what Parker Bridwell did, what Blake Parker did and what David Hernandez did. That's a packed lineup over there." -- Scioscia, on the Angels' bullpen holding the Yankees' lineup to one run after Shoemaker's early exit
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
According to Statcast™, Sanchez's projected 441-foot, three-run dinger in the first inning was his third longest of the season. In fact, each of Sanchez's 11 homers this year have been at least 409 feet, and his 431-foot average home run distance is the highest in the Major Leagues this year (min. 10 home runs).
The Yankees challenged what was initially considered the final out of the game, when Kole Calhoun jumped against the right-field wall and caught Hicks' fly ball during the top of the ninth. Replay officials overturned the out, determining the ball made contact with the outfield wall prior to Calhoun securing possession. Hicks was subsequently placed on second base. Angels reliever David Hernandez then earned his first save on a game-ending groundout from Judge.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: The Yankees move up the coast Thursday to Oakland, where they open a four-game series against the A's in a 10:05 p.m. ET start at the Oakland Coliseum. The Yanks are throwing rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery against A's ace right-hander Sonny Gray.
Angels: The Halos open a four-game home set against Kansas City on Thursday night. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (2-7, 4.81 ERA) will take the ball in the series opener, searching for his first win since April 27. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. PT.