Lou Piniella and Barry Foote hit sixth-inning bases-empty home runs and reliever Ron Davis struck out eight consecutive batters, tying the American League record, to lead the New York Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the California Angels at Anaheim.
Rookie pitcher Gene Nelson won in his major-league debut. Nelson, 20, a right-hander who made the club in spring training but was sidelined with a virus early last month, worked six innings, allowing the two runs on four hits and two walks. The youngest player in the majors, Nelson also struck out four.
Davis pitched the final three innings to gain his second save. He struck out the last eight batters he faced after Don Baylor had popped out and now has struck out 13 of the last 14 hitters to whom he has pitched.
Davis tied the league consecutive strikeout mark, held by Nolan Ryan, who did it twice.
Piniella's homer, his first, came off California starter Geoff Zahn (3-3).
The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the second when Bucky Dent doubled home Graig Nettles and Foote, both of whom had singled.
The Angels cut the deficit to 2-1 in their half of the inning when John Harris doubled to open the inning and scored on Ed Ott's groundout. Baylor, battling a slump, evened the contest in the fifth with his second homer in as many days and third of the year.