HRs by Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson power Yankees
Web linksOn-Base Perception: Yankees
No one digs the long ball as much as the Yankees. They bombed Boston into submission before the All-Star break, and they have returned for the second half hammering at the same furious pace against the Angels.
Two mediocre starting pitching performances by Hiroki Kuroda Friday night and Freddy Garcia Saturday afternoon held the Angels in check until the Yankees' sluggers could finish two straight comeback wins. Mark Teixeira homered twice Friday night, and the formula was similar Saturday, with Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hitting a two-run homer to power a 5-3 Yankees victory at the Stadium.
It was the 24th home run for Granderson and the 21st for Cano, who was shut out in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game after winning the event the year before. The Yankees lead the major leagues with 138 home runs in 87 games, including 37 in their past 20 games, and they top the majors with 29 comeback wins.
They waited until the eighth inning Friday night to rally with four runs, but after Garcia gave up two first-inning runs on a bases-loaded, two-out single by Alberto Callaspo, the response was immediate.
Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the first with a single, and two outs later, Cano slugged a perfectly measured homer off the top of the bullpen fence in left-center to tie the score at 2-2. Cano extended his hitting streak to 17 games and is batting .391 with six homers and 19 RBIs in that span.
"That was good," Cano said of that favorable bounce off the wall, over the bullpen and into the crowd. "I know I hit it good and the wind was blowing out." Asked if it seemed like a good omen, he added, "I would say not only for me but for the whole team."
No one appreciated it more than Garcia (4-2) who barely made it through five innings and issued a season-high five walks.
"That was nice when you give up two in the first and you get it right back," Garcia said. "They've got a great lineup. It took me 30 pitches to get out of the first inning and  pitches to go five. I know I gave up five walks, but they don't swing at bad pitches."
Granderson's blast into the second deck in rightfield in the third off Jerome Williams (6-6) gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
Garcia started the third, fourth and fifth innings with walks but gave up only one more run, as the Angels made it 4-3 in the fourth. His day ended early after three flyouts in the fifth, the last a warning-track shot by Howie Kendrick on which rightfielder Nick Swisher made a leaping catch.
Garcia was backed by four scoreless innings of relief from Cody Eppley, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano, whose 1-2-3 ninth started with a strikeout of Mike Trout, who had three hits, and ended with a strikeout of Albert Pujols. It was Soriano's 22nd save in 23 opportunities.
The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth when Alex Rodriguez doubled and scored on another well-directed hit by Cano, whose grounder up the middle deflected off second base.
The Yankees face a tough pitching matchup in Sunday's series finale with Ivan Nova (10-3, 3.92) facing All-Star Jered Weaver (10-1, 1.96). But they've already won the series -- their sixth in the last seven -- and moved a season-high 21 games over .500.
"I think this team is playing almost about as well as it can," manager Joe Girardi said.
That's mainly because the Bronx Bombers are cluster-bombing home runs. "You remember in the first two months, we were asking about Robby?" Girardi said. "He's just really turned it on and been huge for us since probably the end of May. You need different guys to carry you. Tex had a tremendous road trip , and you need to spread it around."