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New York Yankees take care of distracted Los Angeles Angels

By Joe Haakenson The Sports Xchange
New York Yankees take care of distracted Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi throws a pitch in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 7, 2015. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels had their hands full Wednesday afternoon, first facing the hard-throwing Nathan Eovaldi, all while dealing with the resignation of general manager Jerry Dipoto.

Eovaldi threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings and reliever Chasen Shreve got two big outs to help give the New York Yankees a 3-1 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium, avoiding a three-game sweep.

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Third baseman Chase Headley (3-for-5) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (2-for-4) each had an RBI single and left fielder Garrett Jones hit a solo homer to account for the Yankees offense, such as it was. It was a breakout game considering they had totaled just three runs in their previous three games combined.

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Eovaldi (8-2) was sharp through five innings, but he ran into trouble in the sixth. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella led off with a single, and after a strikeout of right fielder Kole Calhoun, Eovaldi walked both center fielder Mike Trout and designated hitter Albert Pujols to load the bases.

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to the left-handed reliever Shreve, who got out of the jam by getting shortstop Erick Aybar on a pop to short and third baseman David Freese on a grounder to third.

"He's been doing it all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Shreve. "I felt good about bringing him in that situation and obviously he did an outstanding job. He's locating extremely well, he's throwing strikes, he hasn't walked people. He doesn't beat himself. He throws strikes."

The Angels scored their only run of the game on a two-out homer by Trout in the eighth, his 21st of the season, off lefty Justin Wilson. Dellin Betances pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

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Angels starter Matt Shoemaker (4-7) got the loss after giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings.

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The Angels indeed lost twice, losing both the game and Dipoto, who resigned amid tension between him and manager Mike Scioscia. The rift between the two began in May of 2012, when Dipoto fired Scioscia's good friend and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher.

It seemed to boil over during a team meeting on Sunday, according to a report from FoxSports.com, in which Dipoto expressed frustration in the way information and scouting reports he and his staff had compiled were being delivered to players by Scioscia and his coaches.

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As a result of the meeting, Dipoto and his staff would send the information directly to the players instead of having it filtered through the coaching staff.

Two days later on Tuesday, Dipoto reportedly cleaned out his office, leading to Wednesday's announcement.

"I thought it was a normal relationship," Angels president John Carpino said when asked about Scioscia and Dipoto. "You have two really smart, strong baseball minds. Philosophically Jerry and Mike always lined up, on the field and everywhere else."

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Scioscia continued to say he had no specific problem with Dipoto.

"I felt very comfortable dealing with Jerry," Scioscia said. "We had a very honest and frank relationship as far as how we felt. We didn't always agree so, speaking from my end of it, it wasn't a comfort level problem at all."

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Dipoto took over as general manager following the 2011 season. Bill Stoneman, who was the club's general manager when it won its only World Series title in 2002, was named the interim general manager. It was Stoneman who hired Scioscia in 2000.

"I think the fact Bill's coming back, we're all familiar with the way he goes about preparing every day," Scioscia said. "We're very familiar with what his expectations are from us on a daily basis. We're very confident he's going to do things to help us improve this year and hopefully make a run at what we feel is going not evolve into a championship-caliber club."

Likewise, the Yankees have championship expectations, and their win helped them remain a half-game behind first-place Baltimore in the American League East.

They took a 1-0 lead against Shoemaker in the third inning. Gregorius led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Stephen Drew.

Center fielder Brett Gardner grounded out for the second out of the inning, moving Gregorius to third before third baseman Chase Headley came up with a two-out single to right field that gave the Yankees an early lead.

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It was the first of three hits for Headley.

"He had his luck change a little bit," Girardi said. "Now if we can get Drew's luck to change. He hit three balls on the button and didn't have much to show for it."

NOTES: Angels RHP Mike Morin was activated after missing five weeks with a strained oblique. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira's 19 home runs are the most by a Yankee in the first half of the season (81 games) since 2012, when Curtis Granderson had 23 and Robinson Cano hit 20. ... Angels RHP Huston Street needs two more saves to become the 27th player in major league history with 300. He is 23 of 26 in save situations this year. ... Yankees RF Carlos Beltran was not in the starting lineup, one day after straining his rib cage on a swing during Tuesday's game.

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