Close call at first goes Yanks' way
Hunter ruled out trying to jump-start sixth inning with bunt
NEW YORK -- A surprise bunt by Torii Hunter against CC Sabathia didn't catch the Yankees' ace off guard in the Bombers' 4-1 victory over the Angels in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night.
With one out and no one on in the top of the sixth inning, the Angels' No. 3 hitter bunted to the third-base side of the mound. Sabathia made an off-balance throw to first base. Mark Teixeira stretched toward right field, and according to first-base umpire Laz Diaz, the first baseman kept his right foot on the bag.
Hunter and Angels first-base coach Alfredo Griffin immediately argued with Diaz, and manager Mike Scioscia ran out on the field to take over. The two exchanged words in raised voices before Scioscia retreated to the dugout.
Replays appeared to show Teixeira kept his foot on the bag.
"It was a great call by Laz," Teixeira said. "In those situations, I catch the ball with my foot on, and then my momentum takes me off the bag. They were right, my foot did come off the bag, but it was way after I caught it and after the out was made."
Hunter, who hadn't seen a replay, didn't think his opinion counted for much.
"It doesn't matter what I saw," he said. "He called me out, so I'm out. I can sit here and cry all I want, but I'm out."
The play was one of two Yankees defensive gems in the sixth inning. Left fielder Johnny Damon robbed Bobby Abreu of an extra-base hit with a sliding catch down the left-field line. Vladimir Guerrero struck out to end the inning. Their play in the field stood in stark contrast to the Angels, who made three errors.
"It's a great play, that's an athletic play," Teixeira said. "I know CC was a heck of a high school basketball player and played football as well. He's not just a big pitcher out there. That guy can move, and he made a great play."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.