NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter and the rest of the Yankees hitters made it easy for Ivan Nova to prolong his impressive winning streak.
Jeter hit a three-run homer to extend his fast start and Nova won his 14th straight decision, leading New York to an 11-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night.
Raul Ibanez added a titanic homer and Jeter also doubled during a four-run rally to help the Yankees take two of three in an early series between high-priced teams expected to challenge for the American League pennant.
"I think everybody in here already knows what we can do," Nick Swisher said. "I think tonight was just an explosion for us at the plate. It was great."
The prime-time crowd for a nationally televised game included Tim Tebow and Dwyane Wade, who sat side by side wearing Yankees caps in the third row next to the Los Angeles dugout. The new backup quarterback for the New York Jets, Tebow was mostly booed when he was shown on the giant video board — but he cracked a smile anyway.
New York spoiled the season debut of Jerome Williams (0-1), chased in the third inning, while sending Albert Pujols and the Angels to their sixth defeat in eight games. The $240 million slugger went 1 for 5 with an RBI single in the seventh that cut it to 8-5, but David Robertson retired Mark Trumbo on a bases-loaded fly to end the inning.
"No one's ever happy when you start off slowly. No one's saying no big deal," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But you also have to understand the need for some guys to get into their game. Some guys are going hit stride right out of spring training, hit the ground running. Some guys are going to need some innings or some at-bats."
Pujols is still looking for his first home run with his new team. He's gone nine games without one, his longest drought to start a season.
Howie Kendrick had his second consecutive three-hit game for the Angels and nearly hit for the cycle. Needing a home run to do it — the longtime Yankees nemesis hit one Saturday — he almost got it with a drive that barely sliced foul in the eighth. On the next pitch, Kendrick grounded out.
Fighting a cold and fever, Nova (2-0) struck out eight over six innings. Often the beneficiary of big run support, the 25-year-old right-hander hasn't lost in the regular season since the Angels beat him 3-2 on June 3.
"The guy has great stuff," Kendrick said. "He's got an electric fastball, he throws his breaking balls for strikes and he knows how to pitch."
Nova's winning streak ties Hall of Famer Whitey Ford and Steve Sundra (1938-39) for the second-longest by a Yankees pitcher since 1920. Roger Clemens won 16 straight in 2001.