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the comeback kid

Ian Kennedy Pitches As Yanks Win a Series in Anaheim

Now there's a headline we never expected to write. We're not sure which part of it is more surprising, actually: that the Yankees won a series at Angel Stadium — they hadn't done that since 2004 — or that Ian Kennedy not only pitched, but did so in a big spot without blowing the game.

You'll recall that Kennedy wrote his ticket to Scranton last year by (a) pitching badly, and (b) not seeming to mind very much that he was pitching badly. Then this year, Kennedy faced something considerably more serious than being unpopular with the Yankee veterans: an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder. But thanks to a thin bullpen yesterday, Kennedy, now healthy, found himself on the mound in his native Southern California, with friends and family watching from the stands. He didn't actually pitch particularly well — he walked two and hit a batter — but he got out of his own jam, getting Erick Aybar to pop out to end the eighth.

For what it's worth, with Joba Chamberlain pitching poorly on Sunday and Phil Hughes allowing the tying run to score on Tuesday, Kennedy (who'll be off to the Arizona Fall League once the season ends) technically had the best road trip of any member of the Yankees' ridiculously named Generation Trey. That's probably not a good sign, but whatever. The magic number to clinch the AL East is down to five, which means that, depending on what Boston does tonight, the Yanks can clinch with either two or three wins against the Sox this weekend.

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Photo: Getty Images