The Yankees snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday, as Ivan Nova made a case to stay in New York's crowded rotation, and Curtis Granderson continued his year-long surge with two home runs and four RBI, helping New York to a 9-3 triumph.
Nova (11-4) won his seventh straight decision with six-plus quality innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. The right-hander's recent success has the Yankees employing a six-man rotation for the time being.
"[We want him] to make us force our hand. Don't give us an opportunity to say you have to go work on this and that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nova's future.
Robinson Cano fell a single short of the cycle and drove in a pair of runs to help New York pull within 1 1/2 games of Boston atop the American League East standings. The Red Sox lost to Minnesota on Wednesday.
The Angels' Garrett Richards (0-1) made history by becoming the first pitcher to make his Major League debut in a start at the new Yankee Stadium. But the call-up from Double-A Arkansas took the loss after yielding six runs on six hits over five innings.
Peter Bourjos went 2-for-4 with a solo home run for Los Angeles, which had won four of five coming in.
Today, the Yanks turn to resurgent righty Bartolo Colon, who has won his last two decisions. Colon, though, could not get out of the fifth inning on Friday in Boston, allowing two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings of his team's 3-2 win.
After not pitching in the majors last season, Colon is 8-6 on the year with a 3.33 ERA.
Colon, who won an American League Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, beat his former team earlier in the year and is 8-5 lifetime against them with a 3.98 ERA in 16 starts.
The Angels will counter with righty Tyler Chatwood, who has lost four of his last five decisions. Chatwood lost to Seattle on Saturday, as he allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, dropping him to 6-8 on the year to go along with a 4.10 ERA.
Chatwood has never faced the Yankees.
The Yankees took two of three when these clubs met in Anaheim in early June.