NEW YORK — Mike Trout and Albert Pujols were pulled, Jered Weaver was peeved and the Los Angeles Angels were getting pummeled.
Out of the game, they appeared. Then, out of nowhere, they rallied.
The Angels bolted loose to score six runs in the ninth inning, their comeback falling just short Friday night in an 8-7 loss to the New York Yankees.
“Oh man, our bench was alive,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “That ninth inning was fun and, unfortunately, we just couldn’t push it across a little more.”
Down 8-1 in the ninth, the Angels really got going when a routine popup by Grant Green dropped between first baseman Chase Headley and second baseman Jose Pirela for an RBI single.
Green had subbed in for Trout in the eighth, and Pujols also came out as both teams made multiple changes late. Headley and Pirela had just moved to their spots, too.
“They helped us a little bit with the popup they missed and, obviously, the walks, the base on balls,” Scioscia said.
“These guys went in there and got it started for us and almost finished it off. It was coming around again. You’d like to have those guys back in the lineup — we’re talking about Mike and Albert and Erick (Aybar) — but at 8-1 in the eighth inning, we would do it again, get them off their feet.”
Overall, the Angels’ first eight batters reached base against relievers Esmil Rogers and Dellin Betances.
The Angels still had the bases loaded with no outs, down 8-6. Betances, nicked for an earned run for the first time this season, retired the next three batters for his second save.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius overcame an earlier error by stopping Johnny Giavotella’s hard grounder in the hole for the second out. Betances struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Perez with runners at the corners to end it, sending Los Angeles to its third straight loss.
The last time the Angels had scored at least six runs so late was 2009, when they got nine in the 13th inning at Baltimore.
“We got close and made them use some of their pitching, which is a plus,” Scioscia said.
Alex Rodriguez moved past Barry Bonds for second place on the career RBIs list and got four hits as the Yankees won their fourth in a row.
Light-hitting Stephen Drew homered twice and Mark Teixeira connected early as theYankees took advantage of their ballpark’s short porch in right field and Weaver’s soft tosses.
Rodriguez singled for his 1,997th RBI and trails only Hank Aaron (2,297) on the chart kept by the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s official record keeper. The RBI didn’t become an official stat until 1920 and that cost Babe Ruth, credited with over 2,200 on other tallies.
A-Rod scored his 1,950th run, breaking a tie with Stan Musial for eighth place. Rodriguez has 2,991 career hits.
Nathan Eovaldi (5-1) left with a 4-0 lead after walking the bases loaded with one out in the sixth. The Angels drew a total of nine walks.
Weaver (4-5) exited after his final pitch, an 82 mph fastball, was put into the seats by Drew for a solo shot with two outs in the sixth and a 7-1 lead. That was among 14 pitches in the inning that Weaver didn’t throw faster than 83 mph.
Weaver fell to 1-3 with an 8.71 ERA in five starts at Yankee Stadium.
After Teixeira lofted his 17th homer, a two-run fly in the third, Weaver looked into the Los Angeles dugout and stuck his arm out with a blank expression. When the inning ended, he flipped his glove in the air as he walked to the bench.
“Going in to it, you know it’s not a flyball pitcher-friendly ballpark. But it comes down to three 315-foot homers,” Weaver said.
A three-time All-Star, Weaver had won his previous four decisions.
“I just feel bad that the runs weren’t taken off the board a little bit so we could’ve came back and won that game,” he said.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker will be in the bullpen this weekend, but there aren’t any injury concerns. The Angels have a couple of off-days, and manager Scioscia wants to keep his other starters fresh.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (5-3, 3.26) made his major league debut at YankeeStadium in 2011. He’s 0-2 in four career games vs. New York going into Saturday night’s start.
NASA astronaut Joe Acaba threw the ceremonial first ball, tossing it from the rubber and reaching catcher Brian McCann on a fly. Acaba, who grew up in Anaheim, California, once called the Angels from the International Space Station. He took some players and staff on a NASA tour in April when the club was in Houston. Acaba remembered rooting for Nolan Ryan, Gary DiSarcina and others as a kid. “Going to the Big A, we’ve had a lot of good teams,” he said.