First start on road doesn't go Pettitte's way

First start on road doesn't go Pettitte's way

First start on road doesn't go Pettitte's way
ANAHEIM -- Andy Pettitte pinned his hands to his hips, glaring at the rock pile in left-center field as fireworks exploded above him. This wasn't how the veteran expected his first road assignment of the year to go.

Albert Pujols crushed a two-run homer and Mark Trumbo added a tape-measure solo blast off Pettitte, leading the Angels to a 5-1 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday at Angel Stadium for the Halos' eighth consecutive win.

"You pride yourself on keeping the ball in the yard and I keep giving up home runs," said Pettitte, who has served up six long balls in four starts. "That's frustrating. Even in the wins I've had, when you give up the long ball, those are usually all mistakes."

The Yankees managed one run in seven-plus innings against Dan Haren; the only damage they produced as Robinson Cano struck out twice with the bases loaded and defensive standouts Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos committed grand larceny in the Angels outfield.

"We just weren't able to break through," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "A good part of that was their defense. Their defense kept us from scoring runs tonight."

Trout took away what could have been a second-inning home run from Nick Swisher in left field, and Bourjos crashed into the center-field wall to snare an extra-base hit in the seventh.

"Those two guys in left and center -- real young guys, reckless guys," Swisher said. "They're not scared of [anything]. You've got to give those guys credit for that."

Swisher hit the ball hard all four times up but had only a fourth-inning RBI single to show for it thanks to the Angels duo, which he referred to as a couple of "track stars."

"The way we look at it is, no balls can drop in the gap," Trout said. "That's a big thing for me and Pete. We're always trying to catch everything."

The Yankees would lament a missed chance for damage in the third inning, as an error and two singles loaded the bases for Cano, who struck out looking.

Cano also struck out swinging with the bases loaded in the ninth, as the Yankees are hitless in their last 15 at-bats with the bases loaded.

"We're going to have plenty more chances, so let's see if it irons itself out," Girardi said. "We haven't done very well this year, and we've been very good in the past."

Pettitte's 400th Yankees start followed two sharp wins in which the 39-year-old's cutter proved to be a strikeout pitch, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday. His five runs and nine hits were season highs.

"As long as I'm healthy, I'm going to be able to do this," Pettitte said. "That's a moot point for me now. Now it's all about just helping this team win. You've got to keep them off the board and let our guys score first. That's what I always try to do and I hate that I wasn't able to do it tonight."

The third inning was Pettitte's roughest frame. Bourjos singled and advanced on a sacrifice before Trout laced a low pitch for a run-scoring triple into the left-field corner, racing to third as the ball hooked around the rounded contours of the wall.

"He's a free swinger, that's for sure," Pettitte said. "A dead low-ball hitter who handles the ball down there really well. I knew that on the report, but you don't think he'll get to that one. Obviously he did."

A fielder's choice nabbed Trout at the plate, with Russell Martin applying a tag and avoiding the collision, but Pujols continued a red-hot May by slugging his eighth homer of the season into the Yankees' bullpen.

It was the first home run Pettitte had surrendered to Pujols in 25 regular season at-bats.

"He's tough, there's no doubt," Pettitte said. "He's a great hitter, he's hot, and if he's looking for a ball right now and he guesses right where you're going to go, he's going to hurt you with it."

Trumbo cranked up the fireworks display with his second home run of the series and ninth of the year, leading a frustrated Pettitte to snap his arm and glare toward the outfield wall.

"He threw strikes, worked at a good pace," Trumbo said. "I think we did a good job of not swinging at the pitches he wanted us to swing at and hitting the pitches we wanted to hit."

Haren started the eighth inning, surrendering Alex Rodriguez's third hit of the game, before the Angels' bullpen took over. Scott Downs struck out pinch-hitter Andruw Jones and got Swisher to fly out to deep center, extinguishing a two-on, one-out threat.

"I felt like I put a pretty good swing on it," Swisher said, "[but] Bourjos is just throwing it in his back pocket."

The outcome seemed too familiar for the Yankees, who split six games last season at Angel Stadium but have just 11 victories to show for their last 36 contests here since 2005. Now, they're contending with an Angels team that got hot just in time.

"I think it's what people expected," Girardi said. "They've been playing well, and you knew you weren't going to hold a good team down for a long time. They've got talent over there."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.