April 14, 2010

Angels even series

Javier Vazquez was outmatched by Joel Pineiro and Angel reliever Kevin Jepsen held off the Yankees’ eighth inning rally as the Angels tied up the series with a 5-3 win.

Quick ‘Cap:
Pineiro went seven strong with seven strikeouts and departed with a 5-1 lead. The first three Yankees reached base off Scot Shields in the eighth, but when Jepsen entered after Nick Johnson’s RBI single he brought an electric fastball. After throwing 12 fastballs of his first 15 pitches, he used three breaking pitches to strike out Jorge Posada to end the frame.

The Angels scored twice off Vazquez in the third and the Yankees finally got a run on the board in the fifth on Nick Swisher’s RBI triple. Brett Gardner grounded back to Pineiro to strand Swisher.

Vazquez was relieved with one out in the sixth by Alfredo Aceves, who allowed an inherited runner to score and then one more in the seventh. Both Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte tossed scoreless innings to give the Yankees a chance. Full box score here.

You can say all you want about Vazquez — oh, he heard the boos — but he wasn’t that bad today. He just looked a lot worse because Pineiro was lights out and he hasn’t made the fans forget about 2004 yet. He’s 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA now, but he’s also faced the Rays and the Angels — two of the top teams in the league. Let him work out the kinks now and be better down the road. After all, which part of the year is more important?

Line of the Night:
Mark Teixeira:
0-for-4, RBI, K. His .097 batting average is starting to catch up with the Yankees.

Up Next:
The Yankees will play their third straight rubber match Thursday night and Phil Hughes will make his 2010 debut.

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