In a game of big innings and rapid swings of momentum, the Angels defeated the Yankees 7–6 Thursday night. The Yankees lead the best-of-seven American League Championship Series 3–2, with the teams heading back to New York for the weekend.
The Angels jumped on Yankees starter A.J. Burnett in the bottom of the first, with the first five batters reaching base. They took a 4–0 lead into the top of the seventh, with starter John Lackey scattering five hits.
But an offensive explosion in the top of the seventh put the Yankees up 6–4. For once, home runs were not involved, but there will still smashes off the bats of Mark Texeira and Robinson Cano. Texeira's double cleared the bases and Cano's triple scored two. All the Yankees' runs came after two outs in the inning.
Coming right back, the Angels scored three in the bottom of the seventh to re-take the lead at 7–6. Backup catcher and Game 3 star Jeff Mathis started the inning with a single, one of his three hits in the game. Two-out singles by Vladimir Guerrero and Kendry Morales put the Angels back on top.
The ninth turned out to be gripping. In an interesting move, Angels manager Mike Scioscia ordered Alex Rodriguez intentionally walked with two out and none on. The Yankees proceeded to load the bases with an unintentional walk to Hideki Matsui and a hit-by-pitch of Robinson Cano. Angels reliever Brian Fuentes got out of the jam by inducing Nick Swisher to pop out to short on a 3–2 pitch.
Although each team's starter pitched into the seventh, each team ended up trotting out five pitchers total.
The two teams will fly back to New York to resume the series. Game 6 will begin at 8:07 p.m. EDT in Yankees stadium, with the likely starters lefties Andy Pettite for the Yankees and Joe Saunders for the Angels. If the Angels win, the decisive Game 7 would be Sunday at 8:20 p.m. EDT.