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'Super' Nova, Granderson lead Yankees past Halos

Aug 11, 2011 - 4:43 AM Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Ivan Nova made a case to stay in New York's crowded rotation, and Curtis Granderson continued his year-long surge with two home runs and four RBI, as the Yankees downed the Angels, 9-3, in the middle installment of a three-game series.

Nova (11-4) won his seventh straight decision with six-plus quality innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. The right-hander's recent success has the Yankees employing a six-man rotation for the time being.

"[We want him] to make us force our hand. Don't give us an opportunity to say you have to go work on this and that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nova's future.

Robinson Cano fell a single short of the cycle and drove in a pair to help New York snap a three-game slide.

The Angels' Garrett Richards (0-1) made history by becoming the first pitcher to make his Major League debut in a start at the new Yankee Stadium. But the call-up from Double-A Arkansas took the loss after yielding six runs on six hits over five innings.

Peter Bourjos went 2-for-4 with a solo home run for Los Angeles, which had won four of five coming in.

By the time Richards recorded his first out the Yankees were already on top, 3-0. Showing early jitters, the 23-year-old walked Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter to start the frame, and Granderson followed with a fly ball that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center and into the unoccupied bullpen.

"You don't want to start the game off that way, obviously," Richards said. "The momentum was on their side."

Richards settled down a bit and retired eight in a row before Cano hit a line drive to center that tailed away from a diving Bourjos and rolled to the wall. Cano strolled in with a triple and scored on a single by Nick Swisher, who raced around from first on Eric Chavez's two-bagger for a 5-0 advantage.

Bourjos got the Angels on the board with a homer in the fifth, but Granderson answered in the bottom half with a blast down the right-field line that landed in the second deck. It was the outfielder's 31st round-tripper of the season, setting a career-high.

Russell Martin tacked on an RBI single in the sixth for a 7-1 cushion behind Nova, who was highly effective before hitting a rough patch in the seventh.

Rafael Soriano relieved Nova with the bases loaded and one run in on Vernon Wells's base hit and limited the damage to Bourjos' run-scoring double-play groundout.

Granderson worked a walk in the seventh and came around to score again when Cano capped a big night of his own with a home run to left-center.

Luis Ayala pitched two scoreless innings to finish the win.

Game Notes

Granderson's previous career high in home runs was 30, set in 2009 when he was with the Tigers. He has 10 career multi-home run games...Richards was 12-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts for Double-A Arkansas...Angels leadoff hitter Erick Aybar went 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last 28 at-bats...The Angels will send another rookie to the hill in the series finale on Thursday, as Tyler Chatwood will face Bartolo Colon.