ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Adam Kennedy’s two-run single keyed a four-run second inning against Al Leiter, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the New York Yankees 6-3 Friday night.

The Yankees remained 11/2 games behind Boston in the AL East race, while the Angels stayed 61/2 games up in the West.

Darin Erstad, Chone Figgins and Jose Molina had RBI singles for the Angels, who are 47-45 against New York in the regular season since Joe Torre became Yankees manager in 1996. No other team has a winning record against them during that stretch.

John Lackey (8-4) allowed three runs – two earned – and five hits in 5 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.

Leiter (1-1) gave up six runs and 10 hits over six innings in his second start since the Yankees acquired him from Florida last Saturday.

The 19-year veteran left-hander, pitching again for the team he began his big league career with in 1987, couldn’t keep the momentum going after holding Boston to a run over 6 1-3 innings last Sunday in a 5-3 victory.

Brendan Donnelly inherited a 5-3 lead from Lackey in the sixth and struck out the red-hot Jason Giambi with the tying run at the plate. Donnelly pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings, Scot Shields worked the eighth and Francisco Rodriguez got three outs for his 23rd save in 25 chances.

Angels relievers extended their scoreless streak to 28 1-3 innings dating back to Richie Sexson’s two-run homer against Kevin Gregg on July 10 against Seattle.

The Angels grabbed a 4-1 lead in the second after singles by Bengie Molina and his younger brother Jose. Maicer Izturis was robbed of at least a double by third base umpire Larry Young – who ruled his one-out liner over third base was foul. TV replays clearly showed the ball kicked up chalk on the foul line, and Izturis eventually drew a walk to load the bases.

Kennedy followed with a two-run single that put the Angels ahead 2-1, and Figgins lined a single off Leiter’s glove and into center field to score Izturis. Kennedy advanced to third on Figgins’ hit and came home with the fourth run when Leiter’s errant pickoff throw to first got past Giambi.

The Yankees narrowed the gap to 5-3 with Hideki Matsui’s RBI single in the fourth and Robinson Cano’s RBI double in the fifth, which followed a two-out walk to the slumping Derek Jeter. But Erstad got one of the runs back in the sixth with his two-out single.

Notes: Jeter was 0-for-4 and is in a 4-for-35 slump. Bernie Williams ended an 0-for-18 drought with a seventh-inning single. … Angels TV analyst Rex Hudler began his big league playing career with the Yankees in 1984. … Cano’s two hits extended his hitting streak to 11 games, tying the rookie’s career best. … Bubba Crosby made his fourth consecutive start, this time in CF. He has never started consecutive games in the majors before this week. … Yankees RHP Carl Pavano threw 45 pitches during a three-inning simulated game in his second session against hitters since being sidelined last month by right shoulder tendinitis. He is being pointed toward a start against the Angels on July 30.

AP-ES-07-23-05 0112EDT


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