With a struggling bullpen and facing a powerful offense perfectly suited for a homer-friendly ballpark, Mike Scioscia is relieved the Angels were able to escape New York with a win.
Kevin Jepsen got Alex Rodriguez to pop out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and Los Angeles took advantage of New York's baserunning follies to beat the Yankees 10-8 Sunday.
''What many would consider a safe lead, those guys aren't going to quit playing,'' the Angels manager said of the Yankees. ''We walked four guys in the ninth inning. We kind of loaded the gun for them and they almost pulled the trigger. So it was good for us to hold on but you need to make pitches. This was a rough series for some guys in our bullpen.''
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Ernesto Frieri to make it 10-7, the first runs off the closer since he joined the Angels on May 3 -- a span of 26 1/3 innings.
After a walk to Nick Swisher, Scott Downs relieved with a 1-0 count to Raul Ibanez. Downs had given up Teixeira's go-ahead homer in Friday's loss and he struggled again.
Ibanez knocked the glove off Downs with a sharp grounder and reached for an infield single. Pinch-hitter Andruw Jones struck out, Russell Martin had a fielder's choice and Derek Jeter walked to load the bases.
Downs then walked Curtis Granderson to make it 10-8 before Jepsen entered. He retired Rodriguez on a popup to the grass behind first base for his first save since 2009, helping the Angels avoid their first three-game sweep in New York since 1995.
''Me against you, here it is,'' Jepsen said of his approach against Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was 2 for 11 with the bases loaded coming in. Earlier this season he tied Lou Gehrig's record for most career grand slams with 23.
''What an awesome situation,'' Rodriguez said. We just came up a little short.''