Abreu's homer in ninth beats Rivera

Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees stands on the mound after surrendering a ninth inning two-run home run to Bobby Abreu of the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium. (Aug. 9, 2011) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

The odds were in his favor.

Curtis Granderson kept telling himself that as he stood off first base with the Yankees down a pair of runs Tuesday night and Mark Teixeira at the plate with two outs in the ninth.

Angels All-Star closer Jordan Walden already had faked a throw to third a couple of times and with a 1-and-2 count on Teixeira, there was no way he'd try it again, Granderson thought.

So he took off.

"I guessed wrong," he said as he stood in front of his locker a short time later. "That was it pretty much. Not much more to say about that."

Teixeira never got the chance to prolong the Yankees rally, as Walden faked a throw to third, then pivoted and threw to shortstop Erick Aybar, who was covering second. Granderson, who had sprinted almost to second, was caught in no man's land and ultimately tagged out by first baseman Mark Trumbo to cap a 6-4 loss in the series opener.

It was the third straight loss for the Yankees, who dropped two to the Red Sox over the weekend.

"I was trying to go ahead and get myself in scoring position and they called for the right play at the right time," said Granderson, who put the Yankees up 1-0 in the first with his 29th home run.

Former Yankee Bobby Abreu belted a solo shot to right to tie the game at 1 in the sixth inning and reminded everyone in the ninth that Mariano Rivera (1-2) is mortal. Abreu lofted a 92-mph cutter deep into the seats, driving in two runs with two outs to break a tie at 4.

"It was a cutter that didn't get in there enough," said Rivera, who now has allowed runs in consecutive appearances for the second time this season.

Rivera blew the save in Sunday night's 10-inning loss to the Red Sox. "It can happen any time," he said.

Joe Girardi didn't fault Granderson for trying to steal second.

"Our aggressiveness has won us a lot of ballgames," the manager said. "You don't want guys to become too passive on the basepaths when it has helped us win a lot of ballgames . . . But tonight, it got us."

Newly blond A.J. Burnett kept the Angels off-balance for five innings, but the dye-job didn't purge him of his bad habits. In typical Burnett fashion, things fell apart as the game wore on and he failed to earn a win in his seventh straight start.

The Angels loaded the bases on three walks (one intentional) in the sixth for Jeff Mathis, who entered the game hitting just .181, but .400 against Burnett. Moments after his manager Mike Scioscia was tossed for arguing a strike call, the Angels catcher ripped a two-run double to left-center. A wild pitch from Burnett to Aybar allowed Peter Bourjos to score from third, putting the Angels up 4-1.

Burnett, however, wasn't too upset with his outing, which included four runs and seven hits. "I wouldn't change a lot," he said.

In his last 13 starts in the month of August (dating to 2008 with Toronto), Burnett is 0-9 with a 6.78 ERA (792/3 innings, 60 earned runs). But despite those statistics, Girardi said he isn't considering taking him out of the rotation.

The Yankees rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the seventh, on Russell Martin's two-out double and a bloop RBI single by Eduardo Nuñez. Brett Gardner followed with a line-drive base hit to left that allowed Nuñez to scamper to third before Derek Jeter drove in both runners with a single to center, tying the score at 4.

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