By GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Dan Haren stood at his locker and tried to run through all of the Los Angeles Angels' superlatives in his head, from those two tape-measure homers to several sparkling defensive plays — and his own stellar pitching, of course.
Haren feels like the Angels are putting together a highlight reel during each night of their eight-game winning streak, and he's grateful to watch it from the mound.
Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo homered, Haren pitched into the eighth inning, and the Angels extended their longest winning streak in nearly three years with a 5-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
"We're being who we are, and this is who we expected to be coming out of spring training," said Haren, who won at home for the first time this season.
Rookie Mike Trout hit a run-scoring triple and made two jaw-dropping defensive plays for the Angels, who have won 11 of 15. After a rough start to a season of high expectations, Los Angeles (26-25) is above .500 for the first time since opening day.
"We're on a good roll now, and we've got to ride this as long as we can," Trumbo said.
Pujols hit a two-run shot for his 453rd career homer in the third inning, breaking a 34th-place tie with Carl Yastrzemski on baseball's career list. Trumbo followed up his game-ending shot Monday night by putting a solo shot deep into the fake rock pile behind center field at Angel Stadium in the sixth inning, a drive estimated at 443 feet.
Howie Kendrick also had a run-scoring single for the Angels, who hadn't won eight straight since July 2009. They haven't won nine in a row since 2005.
"When you're not swinging the bat, you're going to look dead," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We probably looked dead for a month. (Showing) life is just a by-product of starting to swing the bats."
Haren (3-5) gave up eight hits with seven strikeouts and no walks, coming through with a strong start after the Los Angeles bullpen had to pitch nine innings in relief of injured ace Jered Weaver during Monday's 9-8 victory. After a four-game losing streak, the three-time All-Star has won two straight starts in overwhelming fashion, with 21 strikeouts and no walks in 16 innings.
Andy Pettitte (2-2) yielded nine hits and five runs over seven-plus innings in another solid start for the Yankees, but his teammates couldn't counteract the Angels' plate power and defensive prowess.
Trout and Peter Bourjos also made spectacular outfield catches on long drives by Nick Swisher, slamming into the wall to rob him of extra-base hits in the second and seventh innings. Bourjos tracked down yet another long drive by Swisher in the eighth, making the catch on the run to strand two New York runners.
"What are you going to do, man?" Swisher asked. "I swung the bat super well, and didn't have anything to show for it. They've got some track stars out there in center and left. Maybe I need to start hitting it to right. Keeping us to one run is pretty impressive."
Swisher had a run-scoring single when he wasn't getting robbed by the Angels' young outfielders, but the Yankees lost their second straight after a five-game win streak.
"It's pretty hard to say you're going to see an outfield that fast," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Their defense was what kept us from scoring runs tonight. ... I thought our guys did a good job to give us a chance."
Ernesto Frieri struck out Robinson Cano with the bases loaded to end a hair-raising ninth inning. The Colombian right-hander recorded his 24th and 25th strikeouts in 12 hitless innings since the Angels acquired him on May 3, but Frieri also issued two walks with one out. After Trout made a diving catch in left, Frieri hit Alex Rodriguez to load the bases before fanning Cano.
Derek Jeter went 2 for 4 with a walk on the 17th anniversary of his major league debut with the Yankees, who passed the midway point of a nine-game road trip. The captain leads the AL with 70 hits, including 20 multihit games.
Pujols' two-run shot in the third inning was his fifth homer in eight games, his seventh in the past 14 days and his eighth of May. The three-time NL MVP has followed up his homerless April with a taste of the ferocious power Los Angeles expected to get from its $240 million investment, including 23 RBIs in his last 23 games.