The New York Yankees hope to turn things around as they try to avoid being swept by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the finale of a three-game set at Angels Stadium.
The Angels were firing on all cylinders in the second game of the series and Erick Aybar went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI to lead the hosts to the 6-2 victory. Albert Pujols added a pair of run-scoring singles, while Howie Kendrick finished 3-for-3 with an RBI to support 6 1/3 solid innings from Tommy Hanson in the Angels' third straight win.
Pujols has now hit safely in six consecutive games while batting .440 with two doubles, a pair of home runs and six RBI during that span. The powerful designated hitter owns just a .260 batting average on the year compared to his .322 lifetime average.
Kendrick's perfect performance at the plate on Saturday rose his career average against New York to .354. He is also the owner of an MLB-best .418 batting average sine May 14.
"We just have to play good baseball," Kendrick said. "We're not worried about the standings or whatever, it's just about winning. As long as we get an opportunity to try to win the game, I like our chances."
Angels starter Jered Weaver had trouble pitching through a downpour in Baltimore on Monday and allowed four runs on six hits despite tossing only 83 pitches in 5 2/3 innings of work. The 6-foot-7 right-hander had given up just a single earned run in both of his previous outings, but is just 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA on the campaign.
CC Sabathia will oppose Weaver for New York. Like his counterpart, Sabathia will be looking to bounce back in this one. The southpaw surrendered six runs, including two homers, over six innings against Oakland on Tuesday.
"I just felt like everything was flat; no real life on the fastball," Sabathia said. "It's up to me to go out there and battle, try to keep us in the game. I couldn't do that today."
Sabathia will be looking to lower his 4.07 ERA against the Angels, who he has seen mixed results against. Kendrick is 9-for-19 against Sabathia and Mark Trumbo is 4-for-7 while Aybar, Pujols and Josh Hamilton are a combined 3- for-32 against him.
New York finished with only five hits in Saturday's setback. Ichiro Suzuki had two hits with Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix driving in the club's lone runs. Manager Joe Girardi will need to figure out a way to instill confidence in his squad which is very depleted at the moment.
The club lost first baseman and cleanup hitter Mark Teixeira for at least the remainder of the series. The two-time All-Star is slated to head back to the Big Apple after aggravating a previous wrist injury in the fourth inning. Teixeira joined Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Youkilis on the notable-filled injury list.
The Yankees have lost five games in a row and are just 3-6 on their current road swing.
Los Angeles is 27-12 in its last 39 home games against the Yankees.