NEW YORK -- Every pitcher gives up runs. It's part of baseball. It happens. It just hadn't happened to Ernesto Frieri since he joined the Angels. In the ninth inning of Sunday's game against the Yankees, it finally did.
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer against Frieri. Those were the first two runs the reliever had given up in 26 1/3 innings.
The last time Frieri gave up a run was April 30 against the Milwaukee Brewers, when he was a member of the San Diego Padres. Since coming to the Angels, Frieri became the first reliever in team history to not allow a run before the All-Star break with a minimum of 10 innings pitched. He also became the first pitcher in the Majors to strike out more than 45 batters and not allow a run in more than 25 innings after first joining a new team.
After the game, Frieri wasn't broken up over his scoreless streak being snapped. He knows it's a part of the game and was just glad the runs he allowed didn't cost the team.
"I'm human. I knew that was going to happen. I always tell myself and say 'God, please, whenever I give up a run, don't let that run cost us the game,' and that was exactly what happened," Frieri said. "This is not just about me, it's about winning, and we won. [[Scott Downs] had my back and then [Kevin Jepsen] had [Downs'] back. This is about the team, it's not about Ernie Frieri, Albert Pujols or Jered Weaver. It's about everybody."
It had been a week since Frieri last took the mound. He faced three batters, walked two, failed to record an out, and gave up the homer to Teixeira. But he didn't make excuses for why he didn't pitch well.
"I won't give you any excuses, because I feel good, actually," Frieri said. "Velocity was there, but I couldn't find my release point. I don't know why."
Manager Mike Scioscia was optimistic that his usually reliable reliever will bounce back his next time on the mound.
"We need Ernie," Scioscia said. "He's been having a sensational year for us. He'll get right back on that horse with his next opportunity."