Yankees-Angels: A.J. Burnett Dominates in Road Series Win

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst ISeptember 24, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Pitcher A.J. Burnett #34 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 23, 2009 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California..  The Yankees won 3-2.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The last time the Yankees won a series against the Angels in Angels Stadium was back in May of 2004.

A.J. Burnett was a member of the Florida Marlins at that time.

With the series tied at one a piece and the Yankees fighting for home field advantage in the playoffs, Burnett took the ball and was ready to deliver his second straight quality performance.

If Wednesday was any indication of what the Yankees are going to get from Burnett in October, it will leave the team with a ton of confidence and hope.

Burnett went 5 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits and two runs and struck out 11 Angels batters in a dominating performance. Burnett left runners on with two outs and Joe Girardi took Burnett out, but he didn't want to come out of the game. After 101 pitches, Girardi had to take him out and let the bullpen finish it.

Damaso Marte came into the sixth and got the final out to keep the game at 3-2 Yankees.

The Yankees scored all their runs in the top of the fourth off Scott Kazmir with a two-run single by Robinson Cano and then an RBI double by Melky Cabrera.

The Angels got two RBI hits from Bobby Abreu and Gary Matthews, Jr., but that's all the would get off the Yankees pitching staff.

A major return for the Yankees came in the eighth inning when Ian Kennedy made his first start of 2009 since having aneurysm surgery back in May. He struggled with command at times with two walks, but with two on, he got through the eighth inning with the lead still in place and even picked up a hold.

Even if it is the only time Kennedy pitches in 2009, just the face that Kennedy even walked back onto a mound in 2009 and was able to continue his career is simply amazing to watch.

Mariano Rivera came into the ninth to close out the game. Bobby Abreu got a little bloop single. Torii Hunter struck out. Kendry Morales struck out. Juan Rivera grounded out to second to end the game and for the first time in five years, the Yankees beat the Angels on the road in a series. Rivera picked up his 42nd save of the season.

Burnett improves to 12-9 on the season and wins for the first time in two weeks, where he won on Sept. 7.

The Yankees won their 97th game of the season and remain six games over the Red Sox in the American League East. With the win, the Yankees reduce their magic number to clinch the A.L. East to five.

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