Wednesday, May 07, 2014
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Roberts' first Yankees homer is a game-winner

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[May 07, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Brian Roberts picked a dramatic and opportune time to hit his first home run as a member of the New York Yankees.

The second baseman hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the ninth inning to give the Yankees a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.

Roberts hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Ernesto Frieri (0-3) into the right field stands for his first home run of the season. Afterward, the ball was retrieved for him as a souvenir.

"I think they've gotten everybody's first Yankee home run," said Roberts, who played the previous 13 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. "I've never hit a home run in any other uniform."

New York reliever Shawn Kelley (1-2) allowed one hit and struck out a batter in one-third of an inning for the win. Yankees closer David Robertson earned his fifth save.

The Angels forged a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth after the Yankees moved ahead 3-2 in the top of the inning.

New York right fielder Carlos Beltran singled in the top of the eighth, moved to second on a fielder's choice and scored on a single just under shortstop Erick Aybar's glove by designated hitter Alfonso Soriano.

After Los Angeles center fielder Mike Trout tripled off the top of the right field wall with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, first baseman Albert Pujols brought Trout home with a single.

Before Trout's triple, New York right-hander Hiroki Kuroda retired nine consecutive batters.

"Hiro was phenomenal," Roberts said. "When Kuroda pitches the way he did, you need to win those games."

Kuroda gave up three runs (one earned) in 7 2/3 innings, striking out eight. In his previous start against the Angels, Kuroda allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings April 25 at Yankee Stadium.

"My slider was more consistent than usual," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "I was able to use a better arm slot."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was impressed.

"Kuroda had better stuff than we saw last week in New York," Scioscia said. "Offensively, we didn't pressure those guys too much."

Angels starter C.J. Wilson pitched eight innings of three-run ball and threw 125 pitches.

"That's about where our comfort level was," Scioscia said. "I don't think we were going to go any further than that. He's a pitcher who'll maintain his stuff at a higher pitch count."

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The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. After catcher Hank Conger led off with a single, right fielder Collin Cowgill bunted.

Yankees third baseman Yangervis Solarte fielded the ball and threw to first base. However, first baseman Mark Teixeira, who charged on the play, could not return to the bag in time. Conger and Cowgill moved into scoring position on Solarte's errant throw.

Aybar hit a sacrifice fly to bring Conger home, and Trout followed with another sacrifice fly to scored Cowgill.

New York tied the score in the top of the fifth. Solarte hit a leadoff single, moved to second base on a single by Gardner and came home on Roberts' single. Gardner took third base on Roberts' hit, then scored when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into a double play.

NOTES: Angels OF Grant Green was scratched from the starting lineup one hour before the first pitch. Ibanez moved from designated hitter to left field and C.J. Cron became the DH. ... New York SS Derek Jeter needs one run to move into 11th place all-time in the category. Jeter would pass Hall of Famer Tris Speaker. ... Jeter also needs two stolen bases for 350 in his career. ... The Yankees activated INF Brendan Ryan (cervical spine nerve injury) from the disabled list before the game. ... New York 1B Mark Teixeira went 0-for-4, ending his seven-game hitting streak. ... Yankees RF Carlos Beltran, who began the night in a 2-for-26 slump, went 1-for-3 with a walk. ... Los Angeles 1B Albert Pujols needs three home runs to surpass Hall of Famer Eddie Murray and move into 25th place all-time. ... Angels RHP Joe Smith is unavailable through Wednesday because of tightness in his left side. ... Angels LF Raul Ibanez finished 0-for-4, leaving him hitless in his past 18 at-bats. ... The attendance at Angel Stadium was 40,106.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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