Yankees fans were rewarded for arriving early Saturday night.
The Yankees aired a live showing of American Pharoah's Triple Crown win on the scoreboard a few minutes before their game against the Angels. Then they made sure that Garrett Richards' time on the mound lasted only slightly longer than the horse's jaunt around Belmont's track.
Richards, one of the American League's premier pitchers, didn't make it out of the first inning as the Yankees scored six runs en route to a 8-2 win before 40,096.
"It just shows you our offense is capable of being potent, even against the best pitchers," manager Joe Girardi said.
Brian McCann's two-run homer highlighted an inning in which the Yankees benefited from the Angels' erratic pitching and shaky defense and an overturned umpire's call.
Adam Warren (4-4) pitched well with his big lead, allowing two runs and four hits in 62/3 innings as the Yankees extended their winning streak to a season-high five games. They have won nine of 12 since losing 10 of 11.
Girardi said he always giggles -- his word -- when he's asked about how the Yankees would prefer to score runs, be it by the home run or small ball. "It doesn't matter how you score runs," he said, "as long as you score them on a consistent basis."
And there's no denying that the Yankees have been adept at doing that in the first inning.
Saturday night's outburst marked the fourth time the Yankees have scored at least six runs in the first. Their total of 57 first-inning runs is tops in the majors, 15 more than any other team.
The Yankees received a good amount of help from Richards, who began the game by loading the bases. Brett Gardner walked, Chase Headley singled sharply off second baseman Johnny Giavotella's glove and Alex Rodriguez walked.
After Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly, Richards threw a 1-and-0 fastball beyond the extended arm of catcher Carlos Perez, who was expecting the pitch low and inside, for a wild pitch that gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Three pitches later, Richards finally hit the spot Perez was looking for -- but McCann apparently was looking for it, too. His line drive into the rightfield seats made it 4-0.
"When you're hitting top-of- the-rotation starters, that's what good teams do," McCann said.
Carlos Beltran singled and aggressively advanced to third base when Didi Gregorius followed with a single to center. Angels centerfielder Mike Trout's throw to third was ill-advised; it hit Beltran and allowed Gregorius to easily advance to second.
Stephen Drew hit a sharp grounder to first baseman Albert Pujols that was too hard for Beltran to think about scoring. It would have been the second out of the inning if Pujols had stepped on the bag, but he instead threw to shortstop Erick Aybar to try to get Gregorius going back to second.
Second-base umpire Tom Hallion initially called him out, but Gregorius was so sure that Aybar never tagged him that he never left the bag as he waited for Girardi to call for a challenge. The video replay confirmed his belief, overturning the call on the field. "I knew he didn't touch me," Gregorius said. "I wasn't going anywhere."
Gardner made the most of Pujols' poor decision, lining Richards' 37th and final pitch to rightfield for a two-out, two-run single and a 6-0 lead.
Beltran had an RBI single in the second and Teixeira walked with the bases loaded in the eighth. Trout hit an opposite-field homer in the sixth.