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Angels drop another tight home game against Luis Gil, Yankees

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ANAHEIM — The Angels spent another night pestering one of the best teams in baseball as they appear ready to enter June with a little less gloom.

The New York Yankees lost their manager to an ejection in the first inning on Wednesday yet still managed to maintain their resolve.

Angels starter Tyler Anderson walked an early tightrope before the Yankees ultimately pulled off a 2-1 victory before a mostly pro-New York crowd.

Unlike the series opener, when the Angels pulled off an eighth-inning rally for a victory, the offense mustered little against Yankees rookie phenom Luis Gil. The right-hander allowed just one hit until Logan O’Hoppe tagged him for a seventh-inning home run.

The difference ended up being an overthrow to third base on a seventh-inning triple by Anthony Volpe, who was able to dust himself off and walk to the plate when the relay from second baseman Luis Rengifo rolled into the Angels’ dugout.

Until then, the rule book had been kind to the Angels, who ended up losing for the fourth time in five games. Yankees manager Aaron Boone was tossed in the opening inning when he argued an interference call.

The Yankees loaded the bases against Anderson after three batters, but on a pop-up in the middle of the infield by Giancarlo Stanton, Angels shortstop Zech Neto backed into Juan Soto while trying to make the catch. Umpires already called for an infield fly, to retire Stanton and Soto was ruled out when Neto crashed into him.

Again in the third inning, the Angels caught a break when the Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo was hit in the foot by a ground ball while running between second and third base.

New York finally broke through in the fourth when Alex Verdugo hit a home run down the line in right field, much to the delight of the Yankee fans seated up and down the first-base line.

Anderson (5-5) gave up one run despite allowing four hits and six walks in five innings.

After Volpe’s triple and run scored when Rengifo’s throw got past both third baseman Luis Guillorme and reliever Hunter Strickland, who was backing up the play, the Angels finally found the scoreboard.

O’Hoppe’s sixth home run of the season, just cleared the wall in right center on an 0-and-1 changeup from Gil. It was just the second home run allowed this month by Gil, who owned May with a 6-0 record in six starts and a 0.70 ERA.

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Gil (7-1) gave up the lone run over eight innings with nine strikeouts. Yankees starters extended their MLB-record run to 16 consecutive starts of at least five innings and two runs or less.

Volpe also extended his hitting streak to 21 games by delivering two hits.

And yet the Angels managed to hang into the bitter end, making things interesting in the ninth inning against Clay Holmes, who blew the save opportunity Tuesday.

Trailing by a run, Rengifo singled to lead off the ninth and immediately went to second base on a wild pitch. Tuesday’s hero Taylor Ward walked, but Willie Calhoun grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Rengifo was left on third base as the tying run when O’Hoppe grounded out to third base to end the game.

The Angels (21-34) are now 7-20 at home, while playing .500 baseball on the road. They haven’t won a series at home all season, are 8-20 in games decided by one or two runs overall and 3-14 in those tight games at Angel Stadium.

Bench coach Brad Ausmus, who managed the Angels in 2019, took over after Boone was ejected.

More to come on this story.

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