With his struggling bullpen facing a powerful offense perfectly suited for homer-friendly Yankee Stadium, Mike Scioscia was relieved the Angels were able to escape with a win.
Kevin Jepsen got Alex Rodriguez to pop out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and Los Angeles avoided its first three-game sweep in New York since 1995 by beating the Yankees, 10-8, Sunday.
‘‘What many would consider a safe lead, those guys aren’t going to quit playing,’’ the Angels manager said of New York, which trailed, 10-5. ‘‘We walked four guys in the ninth inning . . . This was a rough series for some guys in our bullpen.’’
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Ernesto Frieri to make it 10-7, the first runs off the closer since he joined the Angels May 3 — a span of 26⅓ innings.
After a walk to Nick Swisher, lefthander Scott Downs relieved to face Raul Ibanez. Ibanez knocked the glove off Downs with a sharp grounder and reached on an infield single. Pinch hitter Andruw Jones struck out, Russell Martin had a fielder’s choice, and Derek Jeter walked to load the bases.
Downs then walked Curtis Granderson to make it 10-8 before Jepsen entered. He retired Rodriguez on a pop behind first base for his first save since 2009.
The teams combined for eight homers. Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar hit consecutive blasts off Ivan Nova (10-4) in the first inning for Los Angeles. Maicer Izturis had a go-ahead, two-run shot in the sixth and Mark Trumbo connected in the ninth.
Angels starter Jered Weaver (11-1) gave up three long balls — a two-run shot by Rodriguez in the first, a leadoff blast by Curtis Granderson in the sixth, and a solo homer by Eric Chavez in the seventh that drew the Yankees within 6-5.
Brewers 4, Pirates 1 — Yovani Gallardo (8-6) struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings and host Milwaukee used a four-run sixth to end a nine-game winning streak by Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett.
Tigers 4, Orioles 0 — Detroit cruised to its seventh win in eight games as Justin Verlander (10-5) held host Baltimore to three hits in eight innings.
Rangers 4, Mariners 0 — Matt Harrison’s five-hit shutout of host Seattle kept him tied for the AL lead in wins with 12. Adrian Beltre had two RBIs for Texas.
White Sox 2, Royals 1 — Chris Sale (11-2) won his eighth consecutive decision for visiting Chicago despite allowing a season-high 10 hits over eight innings.
Braves 6, Mets 1 — Ben Sheets tossed six scoreless innings in his first game in two years and Freddie Freeman socked a three-run homer for host Atlanta. The Braves have won seven straight, their season high.
Nationals 4, Marlins 0 — Stephen Strasburg (10-4) pitched six scoreless innings and drove in a run for Washington in Miami. He had lost his previous three starts.
Reds 4, Cardinals 2 — Scott Rolen’s tiebreaking two-run single in the eighth gave host Cincinnati its sixth straight victory and a three-game sweep of St. Louis.
Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 1 — Chicago finished a three-game sweep of Arizona at Wrigley Field behind seven shutout innings from Matt Garza (5-7).
Giants 3, Astros 2 — Buster Posey had three hits and two RBIs to back Matt Cain (10-3), and San Francisco completed a three-game sweep of visiting Houston.
Phillies 5, Rockies 1 — Philadelphia won its first series in nearly a month as Cole Hamels (11-4) pitched eight innings of one-run ball in Denver.
Padres 7, Dodgers 2 — Jason Marquis (2-5) won for the first time since June 13 and San Diego scored six unearned runs while host Los Angeles made five errors.
Blue Jays 3, Indians 0 — Host Toronto had a three-run third and Carlos Villanueva (4-0) fanned eight in six scoreless innings.
Athletics 9, Twins 4 — Yoenis Cespedes (three RBIs) had his first career four-hit game and Oakland closed out a three-game sweep in Minneapolis.