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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Thinking like a reliever enabled starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin to end a long personal drought Sunday.
Chacin earned his first victory in nearly 10 weeks by combining with three relievers on a six-hit shutout in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-0 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday in front of 40,309 at Angel Stadium.
Chacin (3-6), who had lost four successive decisions, conceded six hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings while collecting four strikeouts. Before Sunday, Chacin registered his last victory June 14.
"He really had good command of both his breaking pitches, the slider and his curveball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He didn't make many mistakes with them. But when he needed to, he found some velocity and good movement on his fastball."
Since being acquired from the Atlanta Braves in May, Chacin found his biggest success as a long reliever. In eight relief appearances covering 17 2/3 innings, the right-hander amassed 20 strikeouts while permitting just five runs, five walks and 11 hits.
"When you come out of the bullpen, you have to use all your pitches, and I was using all my pitches," Chacin said. "I wasn't trying to do too much. I was just attacking the hitters, just trying to go pitch by pitch and not thinking about what I'm going to throw when I face the same hitter next time."
Right-hander Fernando Salas struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning for his fourth save.
Andrelton Simmons drove in both runs while Albert Pujols collected three hits and almost hit his 584th career home run, which would have put him into 10th place all-time. But center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury made a leaping catch at the fence in the fifth to deny Pujols.
New York right-hander Chad Green (2-3) permitted just one run, one walk and five hits while getting five strikeouts yet suffered the loss.
"He didn't have his cutter today," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, "but he still found a way to get through it."
Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks each had two hits but the Yankees left eight runners on base.
"It was a missed opportunity," Girardi said in reference to the fact that the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays both lost. "We have to take advantage of them when we get them."
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Green, who was making his first start since pitching six shutout innings, amassing 11 strikeouts, conceding two hits and issuing no walks Aug. 15.
Pujols lofted a single into center field with two out, moved to second base when C.J. Cron walked and scored when Simmons bounced a single past diving shortstop Didi Gregorius. Pujols slid home safely before catcher Gary Sanchez could apply the tag.
"The cutter really was a non-factor," Green said. "I just couldn't throw it for strikes on a consistent basis. But I was able to throw a slider for a strike when I needed to."
The Yankees put the potential tying run on third base in the third inning. Mark Teixeira began the inning with a double off the base of the center-field wall, then took third when Hicks lined a one-out single into center field. But Chacin defused the threat by making Brett Gardner hit into an inning-ending double play.
New York then loaded the bases in the fourth with two out. Gregorius and Castro hit successive singles before Brian McCann walked. But the Angels escaped when Teixeira filed out to center field.
In the fifth, Pujols came very close to hitting his 24th home run of the season and the 584th of his career, which would have broken a tie with Mark McGwire for 10th place all-time. But Ellsbury made a leaping, one-handed catch at the center-field fence to take that opportunity away.
"I knew I had to get back to the wall," Ellsbury said. "I knew it would be pretty close. Fortunately, it was close enough to where I could jump up and catch it. It was a couple of feet over, and it's a good feeling to pull the ball back and take a home run away."
The Yankees again put the possible tying run in scoring position against reliever J.C. Ramirez in the top of the eighth. Ellsbury reached base on a fielder's choice, then stole his 18th base of the season before Sanchez walked, putting runners at first and second with one out. But Ramirez struck out Gregorius and induced Castro to ground out.
Los Angeles scored its final run in the bottom of the eighth on three consecutive singles, with Simmons' single to right bringing Pujols home.
NOTES: Saturday night's start by 24-year-old Yankees RHP Luis Cessa marked the first time since 2011 that four Yankees pitchers younger than 25 made starts in one season. Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Hector Noesi and Dellin Betances, the Yankees' current closer, performed that feat five years ago. ... Yankees C Gary Sanchez is the fifth player in team history since 1913 to collect at least 22 hits in his first 17 games. The others are Tommy Henrich, Oscar Azocar and Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto. ... Yankees C Brian McCann's 17-game hitting streak on the road that ended Sunday is the club's longest since Derek Jeter hit in 44 successive road games from August 2006 to May 2007. ... Los Angeles recalled RHP A.J.Achter from Triple-A Salt Lake, optioned 1B Ji-Man Choi to the same club and signed free agent LHP Manny Banuelos. ... Angels DH Albert Pujols, who hit his 583rd career home run Saturday night, needs one to break a tie for 10th place with Mark McGwire and three to tie Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for ninth place. ... L.A. batters have struck out 741 times, the fewest in the major leagues.
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