The Yankees provided plenty of offense for Ivan Nova in this victory over Angels.

Nova has made a strong case to keep his starting job, helping the Yankees get their 70th win beating the Angels 9-3. Nova went six innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs, earning his 11th win of the season as well as his 8th straight.

Nova was able to keep his pitches low in the strike zone, drawing groundball after groundball.  His efficiency allowed him to go deep into the game, only throwing 80 pitches through the first six innings.

Curtis Granderson came up with the first and biggest hit of the day.  He drove in Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter on a three-run home run that bounced off the top of the wall against rookie Garrett Richards (in his MLB debut).

Richards, a 23-year-old right-hander, was 12-2 with a 3.06 ERA for Double-A Arkansas. Although the Yankees do have a history of doing poorly against pitchers they haven’t seen before, they were able to get to him early to gain a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

Richards seemed to settle down with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd and 3rd. Then he got hit again in the 4th. He let up a lead-off triple to Cano, who was driven in by a Nick Swisher single.  Eric Chavez, the DH, came up and hit a double to bring Swisher home scoring the Yankees’ second run of the inning, bringing their lead to 5-0.

Curtis Granderson

The Yankees weren’t done yet, especially not Granderson.  After Jeter led off the bottom of the 5th with a strikeout, Granderson stepped up to the plate and cranked out another long ball.  That home run was his 31st of the year, putting him 3rd in all the majors behind Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista (33) and fellow Yankee Mark Teixeira (32).  That home run also gave Granderson his 91st RBI, which only trails Boston’s first baseman and MVP candidate, Adrian Gonzalez (92).

However, the Angels weren’t kept silent. In the top of the 5th inning, center fielder Peter Bourjos came up to bat with two outs.  He took one of Nova’s few mistake pitches for a ride, giving the Angels their first offense and shrinking the deficit to five runs.

Joel Pineiro entered the game in the bottom of the 6th after Richards made it through five innings giving up six hits, and seven runs (six earned).  However, Pineiro wasn’t able to provide any answers for the Yankee bats either. He gave up another run in the 6th inning, as well as a 2-run home run to Robinson Cano in the 7th, his 19th of the year.

The Yankees bullpen took over in the 7th inning sending in Rafael Soriano.  He got out of a 2-out, bases loaded jam Nova left him with, only giving up one run.  Luis Ayala entered in the 8th inning and was able to keep the Angel bats quiet for the remainder of the game.

The rubber game of this mid-week series will take place tomorrow afternoon. We will see the surprising Bartolo Colon going up against another rookie starter, Tyler Chatwood.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm. Tune in to 104.5 “The Team” ESPN radio for all your New York Yankees action!

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