04/23/10 10:48 PM ET
Yankees, Angels set to collide on FOX
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
Just consider it the norm when the Yankees and Angels get together on the field these days. The second game of the three-game series is scheduled for Saturday and will be televised on FOX.
"We always play great games with the Angels -- during the regular season last year and the playoffs," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "So far this year we've played tight games. That's the way it always is against these guys."
Teixeira is right. He's also usually in the middle of the action.
During the Angels' 6-4 victory Friday, Teixeira crashed into Angels catcher Bobby Wilson at home plate in the third inning. Wilson was later diagnosed with a left ankle injury and a concussion and was placed on the disabled list. Teixeira was on base after being hit by a pitch from Ervin Santana, one of two batters the Angels starter hit with pitches in the game. Yankees starter A.J. Burnett also hit two batters.
However, Angels manager Mike Scioscia downplayed any animosity between the two teams and said the collision at the plate was a "clean play." He expects more clean play in Game 2.
"There's not any more emotion than just playing a tough team and trying to win a game," Scioscia said. "We wanted to keep playing hard, but you don't need a spark when you play a tough team like those guys."
On Saturday, it will Andy Pettitte's turn to take the hill for the Yankees. The Angels will counter with Joel Pineiro.
Pettitte knows the Angels well. He defeated the Angels on April 13 in New York, after going 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in three regular-season starts last year. He also went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two ALCS starts last year against the Angels, including winning the clinching Game 6 to send the Yankees to the World Series.
In his most recent start, the veteran beat the Rangers on Sunday with eight innings of two-run, four-hit ball, striking out four and walking three in a 107-pitch effort.
"I was in survival mode, just trying to get through innings, just trying to not get hurt too bad and keep us in the ballgame," Pettitte said. "You go from that to knowing you're going to put the ball exactly where you want to for the last few innings. That's obviously a real good feeling."
Pineiro is 2-1 with 1.77 ERA in three starts this season. He faced the Yankees on April 14 and allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings to get the win in New York.
Overall, Pineiro is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in 17 career appearances, nine starts, against the Yankees.
"The biggest thing for any pitcher going out there is getting ahead and making them hit your pitches," Pineiro said. "Pitching and defense is going to win a lot of games for us. Hopefully we start with that because we have an offense that can put some runs on the board."
Angels hot corner:
Brandon Wood, who had the day off on Friday with Maicer Izturis starting at third base, is expected to return to the lineup to start Saturday's game. Wood is hitting .087 (4-for-46) with no extra-base hits this season but has fared well against Pettitte. In his six plate appearances against the left-hander, he 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs and two walks.
"I think the thing is that you can see the talent and the frustration level is something we're going to monitor," Scioscia said. "You want those footprints to happen right away but he has to patient with himself, which is a tough lesson for a young player."
Yankees around the horn:
Friday's loss snapped a streak of 17 consecutive games the Yankees won when the game was tied after seven innings, a modern-day record. The loss also marked the first time the Yankees have lost two games in a row all season. ... Nick Johnson snapped an 0-for-21 skid with a single in the fourth inning.
Spanning back to 1952, Howard Kendrick has the highest career average of any player with a minimum of 100 plate appearances against the Yankees, according to STATS LLC. Kendrick is batting .395 (47-for-119) while Dick Stuart has the next best average at .380, ahead of Ted Williams' .373 average against New York. ... Over the last five seasons (2006-2010), the Angels own a team batting average of .301 (453-for-1504) against the Yankees, which is their best average against any AL opponent during that span.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.