NEW YORK (AP) — Alfonso Soriano homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, Alex Rodriguez had a two-run double, and the New York Yankees’ bats bailed out a wild CC Sabathia for a 14-7 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Vernon Wells homered against his former team, and leadoff batter Eduardo Nunez drove in four runs as New York equaled its highest run total of the season. The second-worst, run-producing offense in the AL won by more than three runs for the first time in 26 games.
Jason Vargas (6-5) gave up two homers in his first start since having surgery to remove a blood clot from near his left armpit on June 26, including Soriano’s go-ahead two-run drive in the fifth.
Soriano singled in a run in the Yankees’ four-run sixth that broke open a sloppy game, and hit a three-run shot off Joe Blanton in the seventh.
A quick rain storm chased the players off the field with one out in the top of the eighth. But that didn’t slow the Yankees, who had a season-best 19 hits. Nunez had a two-run single before Soriano flied out to left with a shot for a third homer.
Repeatedly kicking at the dirt on the mound, Sabathia (10-10) allowed three runs in six-plus laborious innings in which he walked six, including one to force in a run — but yielded just three hits. Still, he reached 10 wins for the 13th time in a 13-year career.
Leading 4-3 in the sixth, Sabathia walked the bases loaded. He got out of the jam with a double play when Chris Nelson left early on a tag up from third base on Tommy Field’s liner to left field.
Soriano started the play when he caught Field’s fly and made a strong throw home that was offline. Catcher Chris Stewart immediately threw to third base to retire Nelson. Angels manager Mike Scioscia spent several minutes pleading his case to plate umpire David Rackley to no avail.
The Yankees then broke it open with four runs in the bottom half — capped by A-Rod’s hard-hit double to left-center — to ease into their fourth win in five games.
Mike Trout hit a three-run homer in the ninth, and slumping slugger Mark Trumbo connected in the first for Los Angeles, which has lost 13 of 18 even though the Angels led in 10 of those defeats.
Before his start against Seattle on June 17, Vargas noticed temperature differences in his pitching hand. It was caused by circulation problems due to the clot.
In his only rehab start, Vargas gave up four runs in 4 2-3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake last Thursday and wasn’t much better against the Yankees.
He allowed eight hits and four runs, walked one and struck out three.
The sloppy Yankees did everything they could to give Los Angeles the lead from the start.
With flags whipping in the wind overhead in the first, Wells overran Trout’s two-out foul ball into the tight right field corner. One pitch later, Trout walked to bring up Trumbo.
Trumbo homered to left field for his second hit in 27 at-bats.
Wells connected an inning later. Wells last homered when he was still wearing No. 12 on May 15 — 208 at-bats earlier. He gave that number to Soriano, who came over in a trade with the Cubs in mid-July, and took 22.
The Angels opened a 3-1 lead in the third with help from fielding errors by third baseman Jayson Nix and another miscue by Nunez, who missed touching second base on a force play. The run scored when Nelson drew a bases-loaded walk.
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