NEW YORK -- Brian McCann homered and the Yankees sent Garrett Richards to the showers in a six-run first inning, rolling to their fifth consecutive victory with an 8-2 win over the Angels on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
Richards recorded just two outs as 11 Yankees batted in the first inning. McCann's ninth homer of the season was a two-run shot, Chase Headley dashed home on a wild pitch, Mark Teixeira lifted a sacrifice fly and Brett Gardner lined a two-run single in the big inning.
"All season I feel like we've from top to bottom been swinging the bats well," McCann said. "Tonight was no different."
Yankees starter Adam Warren worked 6 2/3 innings in his fifth straight sharp effort, permitting two runs on four hits with three walks before exiting to a standing ovation. Mike Trout hit a homer in the sixth inning for the Angels, who have lost four straight contests.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Opening up a six-pack: The Yankees have scored more first-inning runs than any team in baseball, and they wasted little time getting started against Richards. Two walks and a single sparked immediate trouble, and after Teixeira lifted a sac fly to deep center, Richards uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch and McCann visited the right-field seats for a two-run shot. Gardner's two-run single forced Angels manager Mike Scioscia to pull Richards, who threw just 37 pitches.
"We're hitting ones, we're hitting twos," McCann said. "When you hit top-of-the-rotation starters, that's what good teams do." More >
Not much help: Richards dug his own hole in the first inning, which saw his ERA jump from 3.26 to 4.14. But his defense didn't help much. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella booted a hard one-hopper off the bat of Headley, which went for a hit; catcher Carlos Perez saw a fastball bounce off his glove for a run-scoring wild pitch; and Albert Pujols tried to throw behind the runner at second after fielding a Stephen Drew grounder, resulting in loaded bases after replay overturned the call.
"He reached," Scioscia said of Pujols' play. "He was looking home, then looked at second. He thought he had an out there. It's just a reaction play. We just didn't get it done."
Completely Warren-ted: This is the fifth consecutive quality start that Warren has turned in, and he did what was necessary after being staked to a seven-run lead through two innings. Warren permitted two runs on four hits, walking three and striking out two as he hurled a career-high 105 pitches (61 strikes). Over his last five starts, he has compiled a sparkling 2.97 ERA.
"I feel more comfortable going deeper in the game," Warren said. "Early on it felt like the game just seemed so much longer to me, going five, six, seven innings. I feel a lot more comfortable, and it just comes from learning and getting into the routine of starting and getting comfortable where you're at." More >
D-nied: The Angels had a chance to make it interesting in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with one out and a seven-run deficit, but David Freese grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. In the fifth, Giavotella hit a deep drive to left field, but Ramon Flores made a catch against the fence to limit the second baseman to a sacrifice fly.
"My delivery felt as good as it's been all year. My sinker was sinking, my cutter was cutting, I threw a couple good curves and sliders. It was one of those nights." -- Richards, on his tough outing
"I think it just shows you that our offense is capable of being potent, even against the best pitchers. We talk about offense; sometimes it comes and goes. Your pitching is what you need to be consistent, and in this streak our pitching has been really good. We have not given up a lot of runs, and that's why we're winning a lot of games." -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Richards had another nightmare first inning almost exactly one year ago. On May 30, 2014, in Oakland, he was charged with five runs on five hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning, then went 9-2 with a 1.94 ERA the rest of the season. The Angels will hope for a similar resurgence.
"I went on a tear after that," Richards recalled. "I can't hang my head on this. I know what I bring to the table. Tonight wasn't my night. I made some good pitches, they put some good swings on the ball, a couple found holes. It is what it is." More >
The Yankees successfully challenged a call at second base in the first inning, as Didi Gregorius was ruled out returning to second base on a Drew grounder to first baseman Pujols, who fired down on a fielder's choice. After a review, Gregorius was shown to have slid in safely. He scored the Yanks' sixth run on Gardner's single.
"I know he didn't tag me. That's why I said, 'Review it,'" Gregorius said. "I didn't expect [Pujols] to throw to second either; [shortstop Erick] Aybar said the same thing to him. I was pretty confident I was safe at second. I knew he didn't touch me; [Aybar] tagged himself."
WHAT'S NEXT Angels:C.J. Wilson (3-4, 3.55 ERA) starts Sunday's 11:05 a.m. PT series finale at Yankee Stadium, where the 34-year-old lefty has a 2.44 ERA in 44 1/3 innings. Wilson has a 5.48 ERA over his last four starts. He gave up five runs in six innings against the Rays last time out.
Yankees:CC Sabathia (2-7, 5.45 ERA) heads to the mound on Sunday as the Yankees try for a sweep of the Halos. Sabathia has not won at Yankee Stadium since Sept. 20, 2013, a span of six starts. He received a no-decision in his most recent outing, a 5-3 Yankees victory on June 2 at Seattle.