x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Yankees beat Angels to reach World Series

The New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels to advance to the World Series where they will face the Philadelphia Phillies.

The New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera, left, and Alex Rodriguez celebrate.
The New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera, left, and Alex Rodriguez celebrate.

NEW YORK // The New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Sunday night to win the American League Championship Series and advance to the World Series against National League champions Philadelphia. The win gave New York a 4-2 victory in the best-of-seven ALCS and swept them into the Fall Classic for the first time in six years. Andy Pettitte pitched into the seventh for the win, a 16th career postseason victory that put him on top of MLB's all-time list. He was aided by a two-run single from Johnny Damon in a three-run rally in the fourth that erased a 1-0 deficit. Pitcher CC Sabathia, who won two games in the series, was named MVP. The Yankees, winners of a record 26 Major League Baseball championships, will host the Phillies in the opening game of the best-of-seven World Series on Wednesday. "This is a great time," the Yankees manager Joe Girardi said from the team's clubhouse. "But we're not done yet." Second baseman Robinson Cano led a group of teammates back on the field to salute the fans ? with a record crowd of more than 50,000 at the new Yankee Stadium. Some sharp fielding by the Yankees, including several sparkling plays by Cano and right-fielder Nick Swisher, helped them, while a defensive breakdown once again sabotaged the Angels. Los Angeles scored a run off Yankee closer Mariano Rivera on Vladimir Guerrero's RBI single in the top of the eighth to claw their way to 3-2, but sloppy fielding allowed some breathing room for New York. The Bronx Bombers added two runs in the bottom of the eighth without benefit of a hit thanks to Angels miscues on two sacrifice bunts. Second baseman Howie Kendrick dropped a throw covering first to allow Swisher to reach after a walk to Cano. New York's fourth run of the game scored when pitcher Scott Kazmir lobbed a throw to first well over Kendrick's head on Melky Cabrera's sacrifice bunt, and Cano came around to score. Mark Teixeira's long sacrifice fly brought home the last run. "I want to congratulate the Yankees," the Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "They played an incredible series. They outplayed us and they deserved to win." "At times we played good baseball. At times we shot ourselves in the foot. The Yankees are a team that you can't give extra outs to. We did it in a couple of games and obviously it cost us." The Angels, needing a win to force a seventh game, drew first blood when Jeff Mathis continued his extraordinary series with a double to right-centre leading off the third inning and scored on the former Yankee Bobby Abreu's two-out single. It was the seventh hit in a row for the back-up catcher, who batted .211 in the regular season, and his fifth double. After leaving five men on base over the first two innings against the shaky Angels starter Joe Saunders, New York surged ahead in the fourth and were not to be denied as they claimed their 40th American League pennant. The win for Pettitte, his fifth career victory in a series-clinching game, moved him past John Smoltz to the top of the postseason wins list.

* Reuters