It's no secret the Yankees' offense has been struggling. After Friday night's 5-2 loss in the series opener against the Angels, the Bronx Bombers have scored just 16 runs in their last 72 innings.
First baseman Mark Teixeira, designated hitter Travis Hafner and outfielder Vernon Wells are all in the midst of prolonged slumps, and third baseman Kevin Youkilis was placed back on the disabled list Friday with a still-ailing back.
The Yankees' only RBIs against the Angels came from David Adams, who snapped an 0-for-15 streak with his two-run single in the fourth inning.
"I think we're going to start hitting, I really do. All clubs go through it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's no fun when you're going through it. A lot of times, people think it's the end of the world, but I don't think I've ever seen a team not come out of it."
The Yankees will have a chance to come out of it on Saturday against a pitcher who has yet to find his rhythm for the Angels. Right-hander Tommy Hanson spent four weeks on the restricted list in May due to a death in his family, and his turn in the rotation has been inconsistent.
Hanson (3-2, 4.12 ERA) got seven days off between his first and second starts back, and he'll start Saturday's game on six days' rest.
"I don't feel like there's any momentum," Hanson said after giving up two runs on seven hits in a win against the Red Sox on June 8. "I feel like I want to get to where I'm pitching every five days or six days. It's kind of been like a start and stop, start and stop again. I think once I do that, I'll get better. My last start, same as this one -- wasn't great, wasn't bad."
Yankees: Phelps looks to stay on a roll
Ever since he failed to get out of the first inning against the Mets on May 29, Saturday's starter David Phelps has gone on an impressive run.
The right-hander has pitched six innings in each of his past two starts, allowing a combined one run on four hits in a win against Cleveland and a no-decision against Seattle, striking out 13 and walking seven.
Phelps (4-3, 3.90) has never started against Los Angeles, allowing one run on three hits in two relief appearances.
Angels: Breaking out of losing skid
The Angels are beginning to break out of the funk that plagued them from the end of May through the start of June.
After dropping 11 of 15 games, the Angels have scored 14 runs in back-to-back wins over the Orioles and Yankees, racking up 25 hits in the two games.
First baseman Albert Pujols and second baseman Howie Kendrick have led the way for Los Angeles in the two games, batting a combined 10-for-16 with four RBIs.
"We're focusing on the process. I know we're going to start to play better and get the games on our terms and hopefully hold leads like we can," Hanson said. "Nobody's obviously happy with the record, but we have to focus on how to get out of this hole, and the only way to do it is the process of playing good baseball."
• The Yankees recalled outfielder Thomas Neal to take Youkilis' place on the 25-man roster, and the Inglewood, Calif., native made his season debut Friday. He went 1-for-2 at the plate with a single to right field and a walk.
• Angels reliever Robert Coello has been told by doctors to stay away from throwing for a minimum of four weeks. He was placed on the DL Tuesday with right shoulder inflammation.
Josh Vitale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.