Roberts’ homer puts Yankees past Angels 4-3

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - A few minutes after Mike Trout and Albert Pujols combined on the Los Angeles Angels’ tying eighth-inning rally, one bad fastball by Ernesto Frieri undid his teammates’ work yet again.

Brian Roberts hit a tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees beat the Angels 4-3 Tuesday night for just their second victory in seven games.

Roberts connected with two outs against Frieri (0-3), putting his first homer with his new club into the elevated right field stands. The improbable shot by a light-hitting second baseman killed the buzz at Angel Stadium after Trout tripled and scored the tying run on Pujols‘ two-out single in the eighth.

Los Angeles dropped back to .500 again at 16-16, but manager Mike Scioscia is more focused on the Angels’ resilience without injured sluggers Josh Hamilton and David Freese.

“(Frieri) just made one mistake tonight,” Scioscia said. “He just yanked one pitch to Roberts, but give Roberts credit. He was ready for it.”

Pujols‘ single off Shawn Kelley (1-2) drove in Trout for the Angels, who had won five of seven on their nine-game homestand. Frieri lost his job as the Angels’ closer last month, but had retired all nine batters he faced on this homestand until Roberts‘ homer.

“Everybody knew that I was throwing a fastball,” Frieri said. “I’m good, man. I won’t get crazy. I don’t want to get used to this because I know I’m way better than what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve got to learn from this, learn from the mistakes and get better.”

Erick Aybar and Trout drove in runs with consecutive sacrifice flies in the third inning for the Angels, but their combustible bullpen let them down again after eight solid innings by C.J. Wilson.

Los Angeles dropped to 2-8 in one-run games this season, and the Angels have blown leads in 12 of their 16 losses, the highest percentage in baseball.

After the game, the ball was nestled in the locker of the longtime Baltimore infielder.

“Never hit a homer in any other uniform, so I’ll take it home,” said Roberts, who also had an early RBI single. “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable. Sometimes, some things just click. It’s been nice to get something going a little bit.”

Alfonso Soriano had a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, and David Robertson pitched the ninth for his fifth save in an all-around encouraging effort by the Yankees.

Hiroki Kuroda had his longest and best start of the season, allowing just one earned run and not walking a batter while striking out eight in 7 2-3 innings. The Japanese right-hander is winless in four starts, but he largely shut down the Angels.

“When Kuroda pitched the way he did, you need to win those games,” Roberts said.

The Angels couldn’t reward Wilson, who yielded seven hits and struck out five in just his second non-winning start since April 1.

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