ANAHEIM, Calif. — The injuries have continued unabated this season for the Yankees but in the last week, so has the winning.
And it’s been at times an unlikely cast of characters leading the way.
“This team right now is, I think, excited about some of the things we’re doing,” Aaron Boone said Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously, a lot of different people having their hands in doing some things well, and I’m looking forward to someone else getting the opportunity to do something well tonight.”
There was more than one.
Behind another electric performance by Domingo German, two homers by Luke Voit and a near-cycle from Brett Gardner, the Yankees withstood another Chad Green implosion to win their fifth straight with a 7-5 victory over the Angels on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
“Bunch of grinders, man, it’s awesome,” Voit said of the club’s current makeup, given the 13 players on the injured list. “It’s honestly really fun. And the locker room feels the same. Guys are stepping up in big-time roles.”
The Yankees (13-10), winners of seven of their last eight, collected 14 hits after tallying five in their 14-inning victory Monday night.
There was more drama than there needed to be.
With his team leading 7-1, Boone stuck with Green in the eighth inning after the righthander got the last out of the seventh. Green, who brought a 12.27 ERA into the night, quickly loaded the bases with none out, then surrendered Justin Bour’s grand slam to make it 7-5, raising his ERA to 16.43.
“It’s been really bad so far,” Green said. “It’s just something I’m going to have to fight through. Just frustrated because I feel good. Everybody goes through a point where they battle their mechanics a little bit but we’re at the point where we have to fight through that and still be able to perform, get guys out. Right now, I’m not doing that.”
Luis Cessa replaced Green and allowed a double to Andrelton Simmons and walked Albert Pujols. Cessa settled, striking out Brian Goodwin, then getting Kevan Smith to ground out to the surehanded Gio Urshela, who started a 5-4-3 double play.
Zack Britton pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Voit homered in the first inning off Chris Stratton to give German a lead before throwing a pitch. It extended Voit’s career-best, and current MLB-high on-base streak to 34 games. He added a solo shot off Sam Freeman in the eighth to make it 7-1.
Gardner went 4-for-5, finishing a homer shy of the cycle, and Mike Ford, who grew up a Yankees fan in Belle Mead, New Jersey, hit his first career homer, a two-run blast in the fifth that made it 4-0.
“We have so much talent throughout the whole organization,” said Ford, called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 16 when Greg Bird went to the IL. “You look top to bottom, it rivals anywhere. We’re trying to preach, just do your job, do each individual thing that you can each day and not try to do too much and contribute how you can to win.”
German (4-1, 1.75 ERA) allowed one run that was unearned and four hits in 6 2/3 innings. It was another outing demonstrating why the Yankees were comfortable allowing veteran Gio Gonzalez to become a free agent rather than add him to the rotation in place of German. He walked one and struck out five. It was another notch in the belt of a rotation that came into Tuesday 3-1 with a 1.79 ERA in its previous seven games.
“It was definitely in my mind to put together a long outing and hopefully prevent us from using a lot of guys back there,” German said of the bullpen, which had been taxed by extra-inning games Sunday and Monday.
Of the opportunity he’s seized, German said through his translator: “I’ve been working really hard toward this. This is a great opportunity that I have now and I can’t let it go, I can’t lose my focus.”
German walked Mike Trout with one out in the first but retired two straight, getting an assist from leftfielder Tyler Wade, who took extra bases, and maybe a homer, away from Simmons with a catch at the wall for the third out.
The Yankees tacked on a run in the second. Ford led off with a single and Mike Tauchman walked. Austin Romine struck out but Thairo Estrada, called up Sunday when Aaron Judge became the 13th Yankee to hit the IL, collected his first career hit, a liner to right that loaded the bases. Wade’s soft grounder to short resulted in a forceout at second and a run as Ford scored to make it 2-0.
Gardner singled with one out in the fifth and, after Gleyber Torres flied out, Ford roped a 3-and-1 fastball to right for the 4-0 lead.
“There’s just a feeling in there that, everyone feels like they’re contributing, and that’s been the case,” Boone said afterward of the clubhouse vibe. “And when you’re beat up and facing adversity, you need everyone to kind of pull their weight and contribute and chip in on a given night and I think that’s been one of the common themes over the past week.”
The Angels (9-15) got one back in the bottom half of the fifth. Brian Goodwin led off with a double and after Smith grounded out, went to third when German bobbled a chopper off the bat of Tommy La Stella for an error. David Fletcher’s groundout to short brought in Goodwin to make it 4-1.