Covering the Angels and Analyzing the Team’s Past

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June 29, 2008

Angels on Winning End of Third Shutout in Series

by @ 7:44 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The finale of the Angel-Dodger series ended with another shutout, but this time John Lackey and the Angels shut out the Dodgers to take the win and avoid a series sweep.

The Angels managed to squeeze one run out of their six hits. It came in the second when Juan Rivera singled and came around to score on Mike Napoli’s RBI-single. Rivera and Izturis were both 2 for 4, with Rivera starting in left and Izturis at second in place of Kendrick. Chone Figgins was also back in the lineup after missing the first two games of the series.

John Lackey was one out away from a complete game shutout. He kept the Dodgers scoreless and to just three hits while striking out nine. He retired 14 straight batters at one point and pitched his way to his sixth win. K-Rod got the hot James Loney to ground out with the bases loaded for the final out of the game and to give K-Rod his 32nd save.

 The Angels, back to their winning ways after dropping three straight, take the freeway home to open a three-game set with the A’s. The Angels look to gain ground on the second place A’s, who are 4 1/2 games behind them. They send Jon Garland to the mound to go for his eighth win. He will face lefty rookie Greg Smith who is 4-6 this season and is 0-2 in two starts against the Angels.

Also making a start on Monday is Kelvim Escobar for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Escobar will work on getting his pitch counts higher in his coming minor league starts and is looking to rejoin the Angels staff after the All-Star Break.

Angels Keep Dodgers Hitless but Still Take Loss

by @ 11:31 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Jered Weaver and Jose Arrendondo combined for eight hitless innings but an unearned Dodger run in the fifth gave the Angels a 1-0 loss. It is just the fifth time in baseball history that a team keeps the opponent hitless but still takes the loss.

The Angels had just five hits on the night and couldn’t produce any runs to take the loss. Howie Kendrick was 2 for 4 and that’s about all the offense to speak of.

Jered Weaver took his eighth loss in a rare feat, keeping the Dodgers hitless and fanning six through six innings. Matt Kemp got on in the fifth and took third on a couple of errors and scored on Blake DeWitt’s sacfly. Arrendondo threw the seventh and eighth and struck out three in his hitless effort.

The Angels look to avoid being swept by sending John Lackey to the mound today. Lackey looks for his sixth win with his 1.65 ERA. He will face Derek Lowe, who is 5-7 with a 4.05 ERA.

June 28, 2008

Angels Held to 4 Hits in Shutout Loss

by @ 7:05 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Dodgers starter Chan Ho Park held the Angels to four hits and no runs as the Angels take just their second loss of the roadtrip.

The Angel offense barely had any scoring opporunities, with no walks and fanning 14 times in the game. In the first, Erick Aybar and Garret Anderson got on with singles to bring Vlad to the plate. Vlad, after sitting Wednesday’s game for symptoms of the flu, grounded into a double play to end the rally. Vlad did single in the fourth, though, to extend his hit streak to 16 games. The only other Angel hit was Aybar’s one-out double in the sixth. He moved to third on a fielding error but was left on base when Kendrick struck out and Anderson was retired.

Joe Saunders failed to get his MLB-leading 12th win. He struggled through five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits with four walks. He gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead by giving up a solo shot to Russell Martin in the first. He had three scoreless innings, including escaping a bases-loaded jam in the third, before giving two more up in the fifth, one unearned. Justin Speier came in for two innings and gave up a three-run shot to Andre Ethier to put the Dodgers up 6-0. The Angels then had no chance to come back, as the Dodger bullpen fanned the last six Angel batters in order.

June 26, 2008

Angels End Interleague Play with Freeway Series

by @ 7:09 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took two of three from the Dodgers in Anaheim last month and look to steal another series from the cross-town rivals as they head to Dodger Stadium for the final Interleague series of the season.
The Angels have five wins in six games on this roadtrip and send Joe Saunders to the mound in search of their sixth. Saunders is at 11 wins, tied for most in both leagues. He will be pitching at Dodger Stadium for the first time in his career and will face Chan Ho Park, who is starting in place of the injured Brad Penny. This is Park’s second start of the season, his first coming against the Angels last month where he gave up one earned run in four innings.

Eighth Inning Comeback Isn’t Enough for the Sweep

by @ 10:15 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels never held the lead and allowed a run in the ninth to break the 4-4 tie and give the Nats the win to avoid being swept.

The Angels were down 2-0 after the first but tied it up by the third. Torii Hunter singled in the second and was driven home by Gary Matthews Jr.’s RBI-double. The next inning, Erick Aybar singled and came around to score off Hunter’s RBI-single. They then had the bases loaded with one out, but a fly ball by Kendrick to nail Anderson at the plate ended the threat. The Angels remained scoreless until tying it in the eighth by rallying for two runs. They had the go-ahead run at third but left him on base when Matthews Jr. struck out to end the inning.

Ervin Santana had a rare poor outing, giving up four runs on four hits and five walks. He allowed the Nats to take the lead in the first by giving up a two-run homerun. He then gave up two more in the six to again give the Nats the lead. He loaded the bases and then gave up a walk for one run followed by an RBI-single to make it 4-2 and to end his night. The Angels came back to tie it but Scott Shields gave up the winning run, his first in 15 1/3 innings. He allowed an RBI-single to Jesus Flores for the walk-off win and his second loss.

The Angels snap their five game win streak with this first loss of the road trip. They have today off before heading into a weekend series with cross-town Interleague rival Dodgers.

June 25, 2008

Angels Shoot for Six Straight

by @ 9:33 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels have sealed the series win, but go for their second consecutive sweep tonight at 4:10.

Ervin Santana takes the mound to go for his tenth win. He is coming off a win in Philly where he struck out nine and yielding just two hits and an unearned run for the win. He will face Tim Redding, who is 6-3 with a 4.12 ERA. Redding is winless since May 19th and is making his first career appearance against the Angels.

With a win, the Angels will move to 6-0 on the roadtrip as they head back to LA this weekend, but visit Dodger Stadium for the final Interleague series of the season.

Kelvim Escobar is also scheduled to throw two innings for the Angel’s team in the Arizona Summer League. This will be his first time in an actual game after throwing simulated games on June 17 and June 21.

June 24, 2008

Six-Run First Give Angels Fifth Straight Win

by @ 8:57 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels scored six in the first and went on to beat the Nationals 8-3 to give them the series win and their fifth straight victory.

The Angels batted around to rough up Nat’s starter Shawn Hill for six runs on five hits, two walks, and two errors in the first inning alone. Chone Figgins lead things off with a walk and took third on Erick Aybar’s single. He scored on Garret Anderson’s sacfly for the first run of the game. Aybar came around to score off Vlad’s RBI-single. Vlad’s hit extends his streak to 15 games, but he left in the next inning with the flu. Hunter, Kotchman, Kendrick and Napoli then each continued the rally and added three more runs to cap off the inning. Napoli added a two-run shot in the third to make it 8-0.

Jon Garland was up 6-0 before even taking the mound, and he sailed for seven innings to get his seventh win. He gave up three runs on six hits, including two solo shots in the third and fourth and one more in the fifth. Jose Arrendondo then took the mound for the last two innings, holding the Nats hitless and scoreless and throwing four K’s.

Two Run Eighth Gives Angels Win

by @ 8:44 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took the first from the Nationals on Monday with a 3-2 win to extend their win streak to four games.

The bats had trouble hitting off of Nationals starter Jason Bergmann. He allowed them just six hits and had 6 K’s. Their only run off him came in the fifth: Casey Kotchman singled, advanced to third on Howie Kendrick’s double and scored on a sacfly by Jeff Mathis. They were down 2-1 heading into the eighth, but a two-run rally gave them the go-ahead run. Chone Figgins got a bunt single and advanced to third on a throwing error. He then scored on another fielding error by Felipe Lopez, who couldn’t handle Erick Aybar’s hard-hit ball. Aybar took second on the error and scored the go-ahead run when Garret Anderson smacked an RBI-single.

John Lackey narrowly escaped with a win, his fifth of the year. He gave up two runs, one earned (though it was his own error) and struck out six in eight innings. He allowed the Nationals to score one first in the third from a solo homerun before he escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to keep the Nationals at one run. The Nationals then scored an unearned run in the seventh to take the lead after Willie Harris tripled and scored when Lackey tried to throw him out but his throw went far. The Angels gave him two in the top of the eighth to allow him to get the victory. K-Rod threw for his 31st save, with all three outs being strikeouts.

June 22, 2008

Angels-Nationals Preview

by @ 7:58 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels are 3-0 on this road trip and head to D.C. to take on the Nationals, their first time playing at the nation’s capital since 1971, in their second of three Interleague series on this road trip.

John Lackey will take the mound and looks for his fifth win after coming off a 7-plus one-run win against the Mets on Tuesday. Lackey’s ERA is now at 1.73 and sports a 2.81 ERA in 19 appearances in Interleague play. He will face Jason Bergmann, who has an ERA over five and has lost his last five straight decisions.

Vlad will look to rough up Bergmann and continue his hot streak. He has a 13 game hit streak going, and is batting .500 with 3 homeruns in the past three games alone. He is hitting over .400 in the month of June, and his average is creeping closer to .300, it’s now at 2.90.

Angels Complete Sweep of Phillies

by @ 6:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

After getting a 7-1 win Friday, the Angels finished the sweep with a 6-2 win on Saturday and 3-2 win on Sunday.

Vlad once again continued his hot month of June and led the lineup with two solo shots, one in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead then another in the seventh to put the Angels up 2-0. The Phillies tied it in the bottom of the seventh, but a two-run Erick Aybar homerun to right in the eighth gave the Angels the go-ahead runs. The homerun is Aybar’s second of the year, his first dating back to May 1st, and came after he replaced Maicer Izturis who left in the third for a pulled hamstring. The Angels added two insurance runs in the ninth, including an RBI-single by Chone Figgins.

Joe Saunders earned his 11th win, with the help of Aybar’s homerun to break the tie after his seven innings of work. He gave up five hits with two runs in the seventh, a solo shot followed by a walk and an RBI-double. Scott Shields helped out Saunders by a rare feat of striking out four batters in the eighth. K-Rod closed out the ninth for his 29th save.

The Angels again held the Phillies to two runs on Sunday and escaped with a 3-2 win to take the series sweep.

The Angels jumped on top by scoring all three runs in the second. Vlad led things off with a single to extend his hit streak to 13 games, and scored on Gary Matthews Jr.’s RBI-single. Casey Kotchman then smoked a homer to right, his eighth of the year, to make it 3-0. Figgins and Hunter were both 2 for 4, and Erick Aybar went 1 for 4 as he again replaced Maicer Izturis at short.

Jered Weaver earned the win to even his record at 7-7. He threw 5 1/3 and fanned six. Weaver escaped a first inning jam on 28 pitches by striking out the side, leaving runners at second and third. Weaver’s only mistake was an RBI-single to Ryan Howard in the second. Darren Oliver then came in to finish the sixth before Scott Shields pitched 1 2/3 hitless, scoreless innings while striking out three. K-Rod gave up a two-out single in the ninth but closed out the game for his 30th save.

The Angel’s starting rotation helped them get the series sweep this weekend, going 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA. The starting staff now leads both leagues with 38 wins, is second in the AL in innings pitched with 484, and fourth with an ERA of 3.79.

June 21, 2008

Angels Belt Seven Runs in Win Over Phillies

by @ 5:08 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels haven’t scored seven or more runs since May 18th’s win, but they touched home seven times to get a 7-1 victory in the first game of the Interleague series with the Phillies.

Vlad led things off with a two-run homer in the first. He ended up 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs on the night to extend his hit streak to 11 games and his June average to .434. They added another in the second and rallied for three in the sixth to put the game nearly out of reach before capping it off with one more in the eighth. Howie Kendrick was 4 for 5 with an RBI, Anderson 3 for 4 with 2 runs, and Mathis 2 for 3 with an RBI. The Angels had a season-high 17 hits, 15 more than the Phillies could produce.

Ervin Santana held the Phillies to two hits and an unearned run to improve his record to 9-3. The unearned run came in the sixth off Casey Kotchman’s fielding error, one of four Angel errors on the night. Jose Arrendondo and Justin Speier then each threw a hitless, scoreless inning apiece to seal the win.

June 20, 2008

Angels-Phillies Preview

by @ 8:35 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels head out for a nine-game Interleague roadtrip beginning with the Phillies in Philadelphia tonight.

Ervin Santana will take the mound to help the Angels get their first series win after dropping the last two. Santana is going for his ninth win and has never faced the Phillies. He will face Adam Eaton, who is 2-4 with a 4.57 ERA.

Heading to a National League park of course means no DH. Scioscia is expected to keep Vlad in right and Torii Hunter in center with Gary Matthews Jr. and Garret Anderson switching off in left.

Erick Aybar was also activated and started in Wednesday’s game in place of Maicer Izturis. Izturis has had some soreness in his hamstring but two days off will likely allow him to feel healthy enough to start tonight.

June 19, 2008

Angels Lose Rubber Match in 10th

by @ 6:24 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

K-Rod had a rare blown save in the 9th inning while the Mets went on to win it 5-4 in the 10th while the Angels take the series loss.

The Mets had a 3-1 lead by the fourth but the Angels came back to take a 4-3 lead by the fifth. They scored one in the fourth when Torii Hunter singled and was driven home by Jeff Mathis. They also loaded the bases in the fifth to begin a three-run rally. Chone Figgins singled, Reggie Willits walked and Howie Kendrick singled to load the bags. Vlad then hit a 2-RBI single to score Figins and Willits for the tying run. Kendrick scored the go-ahead run off Hunter’s RBI-single. They held the 4-3 lead until the ninth when the bullpen gave the Mets a run to tie it.

Jon Garland threw six strong innings, giving up three runs, two earned, four walks and three K’s. Darren Oliver, Jose Arrendondo, and Scott Shields then combined for a two-inning scoreless hold. K-Rod then came in to close out the ninth but gave up a two-out RBI-single to David Wright to tie the game. The blown save ends K-Rods streak of 25 straight saves and 14 consecutive scoreless innings. The Angels failed to score one in the bottom half and Justin Speier then gave up a solo shot to former Angel Damion Easley to give the Mets the go-ahead run. The Angels couldn’t produce anything in the bottom half and take their second straight series loss, the first time they lose two straight series since last July, while Speier moves to 0-4.

June 18, 2008

Lackey Pitches Angels to Win Over Mets

by @ 10:09 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angel offense put up six runs but lost in their first game with the Mets, but they put up six runs again and got the win after John Lackey held the Mets to one run.

The Angels tagged Mets’ ace Johan Santana for five runs, four earned, on eight hits. They came out to score three in the first after the Mets had put one on the board in the top half. Macier Izturis singled, Vlad doubled, and both were driven home by Torii Hunter’s double. Hunter then scored when the first baseman misfielded Casey Kotchman’s grounder. The Angels added a run in the third when Kotchman drove an RBI-single to score Vlad. Mathis hit a solo shot in the sixth and Gary Matthews Jr. made it 6-1 in the eighth with an infield single. Vlad was 2 for 4 with 2 runs on the night, extending his hit streak to nine games and his June average to .419.

Lackey came out on top of the aces’ duel. The only run the Mets scored off him came in the first after two singles and a double-play groundout to score one. He then held the Mets scoreless, and came out in the eighth after giving up just six hits, one run, and one walk while striking out seven. Scott Shields then kept the Mets hitless and scoreless. Lackey moves to 4-1.

The Angels send Jon Garland to the mound in today’s rubber match to face lefty Oliver Perez. Garland got his first lost since April 28 on Friday in Atlanta, and is looking for his seventh win of the season in his first career outing against the Mets. Perez is 5-4 with a 4.98 ERA.

June 17, 2008

Offense Heats Up, But Angels Still Lose to Mets

by @ 12:11 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angel offense came alive last night, but the Mets already had the lead in the first and never trailed as the Angels lost 6-9.

The Angels matched the Mets with 11 hits, but only six runs were scored to take the loss. This is only the second time in the last 25 games that the Angels have put up six runs, the last time coming in last Tuesday’s win. The Angels scored their first off Garret Anderson’s sacfly in the first. They added two more in the fourth to make it 3-4 off RBI-singles by Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick. The Angels were then down 3-8 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but added three runs to close the Mets gap. Jeff Mathis, Chone Figgins, and Anderson each had RBI-singles in the rally. The tying runs were on but the Mets bullpen fanned Vlad and Hunter to end the threat. Anderson also represented the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth but grounded into a double play to give the Mets the win.

Jered Weaver took his seventh loss of the season after giving up six runs on eight hits through 6 1/3. Weaver gave the Angels four runs in the first three innings, including two solo shots to Carlos Beltran. He then regained control, holding the Mets scoreless through the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, but he allowed the Mets to begin a rally in the seventh that drove him from the mound. Jose Arrendondo then came in to finish the inning, but did so by giving up a 2-RBI single to Luis Castillo and an RBI-double to David Wright. The four-run Mets inning was topped off when Casey Kotchman made his first error of the season, letting a ball get by him into right field to allow another run to score.

The two teams duel again today, but this time the Mets will have a new manager, as Willie Randolph was fired following last night’s game. John Lackey is set to face Mets’ ace Johan Santana. Lackey is 3-1 after six starts. Santana is 7-4 with a 2.85 ERA and is 2-3 lifetime against the Angels.

June 15, 2008

Angels Avoid Sweep with Sunday’s Win

by @ 10:02 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels dropped their second straight to the Braves, 2-9, to lose the series but avoid the sleep with a 2-0 shutout on Sunday.

Ervin Santana took the mound Saturday to face Charlie Morton in his MLB debut. Morton held the Angels to just three runs on five hits, they ended up with eight hits on the night. Macier Izturis had a 2-RBI double in the third to take a 2-0 lead and extend his hit streak to 13 games. The Angels then added two more, a Torii Hunter RBI-double in the sixth and a Jeff Mathis RBI-single in the ninth.

Santana had a rare bad outing to tag him for a rare loss. He gave up six runs on nine hits and didn’t escape the sixth inning. He kept the Braves scoreless through five but the Braves blew it open in the fifth with a four-run rally. Two solo shots in the sixth inning then chased Santana from the game and gave him his third loss. Darren Oliver finished the sixth and seventh hitless innings before Justin Speier came in for the eighth and gave the Braves three more runs.

The Angels then avoided the sweep on Sunday, giving Joe Saunders his 10th win.

The game was a pitchers’ duel, with the only runs coming in the fifth for the Angels off Casey Kotchman’s two-run homerun to also score Vlad, who had doubled for the first hit in eleven batters. Braves starter Jorge Compillo’s then kept the Angels scoreless for his complete game eight innings.

Joe Saunders kept the Braves scoreless in his 7 1/3 innings, giving up just six hits, no walks, and fanning three. His 10th win makes him just the third AL pitcher to reach that win total. Scott Shields then finished the eight before K-Rod threw a perfect ninth, with two K’s, for his 28th save.

The Angels continue their Interleague homestand by hosting the Mets beginning tomorrow. Jered Weaver will face Mike Pelfrey, who is just 2-6 and is winless in two months. Weaver is looking for his seventh win in his first start against the Mets.

June 14, 2008

Angels Drop First to Braves

by @ 8:52 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Two Angel runs early on wasn’t enough to take the win as Jon Garland and the Angels takes a 2-5 loss.

The Braves got on board with one in the second but the Angels tied it up in the bottom half with a solo shot by Torii Hunter. The Angels took the lead in the third when Howie Kendrick drove an RBI-double to score Maicer Izturis. That would be the only runs the Angels would score, as Jo-Jo Reyes and Jeff Bennett held the Angels to just seven hits on the night. Chone Figgins was back atop the lineup and went 1 for 2 with 2 walks in his first game since May 21.

Jon Garland gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the second, but the Angels came back to put them on top 2-1 by the third. He then let the lead slip by giving up an RBI-double followed by an RBI-single in the fourth. Garland gave up two more runs in the sixth to Gregor Blanco to make it 5-2 and to end his night. Garland gave up a season-high 12 hits and takes his first loss in eight starts. Darren Oliver and Justin Speier then kept the Braves scoreless for the remaining innings.

The Angels, now back for just the seventh time this season with their regular Opening Day infielders, will look to steal one back from the Braves today. Ervin Santana will go for his ninth win and will face Charlie Morton, who is making his major league debut.

June 13, 2008

Angels Look to Continue Success Against NL

by @ 8:53 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels continue their homestand by hosting the Braves this weekend for a three-game Interleague series, the first time in three years that the two clubs are meeting. In their past 23 games against National League teams, the Angels are 18-5.

The Angels will send Jon Garland to the mound to face the Braves for the first time in his career. Garland hasn’t seen a loss since April 28, and is 8-11 in Interlegaue Play. He will face lefty Jo-Jo Reyes, who is 2-4 with a 4.80 ERA and has lost his last three straight decisions.

The Angels, who hold the best record in the AL, will look to add losses to the Braves’ road record, which at 7-24 is the worst in both leagues. The Angels have also won the past two straight will the Braves have a six-game losing streak.

June 12, 2008

Injury Updates

by @ 4:15 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Today’s off day will allow for an extra day of rest for the injured Angels before beginning a six-game Interleague homestand.

Garret Anderson was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup for a sore right knee, but two straight days of rest should allow him to feel healthy enough to return to the lineup for Friday’s opener against the Braves.

Leadoff man Chone Figgins is also expected to return to the lineup Friday. Brandon Wood was optioned to Triple A Salt Lake today to allow roster room for Figgin’s activation tomorrow. Figgins was sent to the DL after May 3rd’s game where he strained his hamstring while sliding home. He was activated and played one game before rejoining the DL for another 15 days. Figgins has been rehabbing with Triple A Salt Lake, and went 1 for 5 on Wednesday.

Erick Aybar will also likely begin a minor league rehab assignment beginning next week, which would set his date of return in about two weeks.

June 11, 2008

Angels Win Rubber Match with Rays

by @ 9:01 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

John Lackey had another strong outing to hold the Rays to two runs to give the Angels a 4-2 win.

The Angels were down 1-0 from the first inning until the fifth when Gary Matthews Jr. hit a solo shot to give the Angels their first hit of the game. The Rays took the lead again in the seventh but the Angels added two of their own in the bottom half for the go-ahead run. Maicer Izturis singled to right-center to score Casey Kotchman and Robb Quinlan. Izturis went 2 for 2 for 4 to send his hit streak to 11 games. Vlad then added a solo shot to send his homerun total to double digits and to give the Angels an insurance run.

John Lackey held the Rays to two runs to give himself his third win. Lackey pitched himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the first with giving the Rays just one run. Lackey allowed a single in the second but then kept the bases empty until the sixth. The Rays scored off a sacfly in the seventh to tag Lackey for another run. He left in the eighth after giving up just those two runs on four hits with 7 K’s. Scot Shields finished the eighth before K-Rod closed out the ninth for his 27th save.

The Angels have Thursday off before hosting the Braves for an Interleague Play series.

Weaver Pitches Angels Past Rays

by @ 11:32 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Jered Weaver held the Rays to one run through eight while the offense put up six runs to beat the Rays 6-1 and even up the series.

The offense took charge in the first, scoring four runs, including a homerun by Garret Anderson. Maicer Izturis got on to extend his hit streak to 10 games, and Anderson followed up with a one-out, two-run shot. Vlad and Torii Hunter followed with back-to-back singles before Howie Kendrick hit an RBI-double to score Vlad and Jeff Mathis drove in Hunter to make it 4-0. Vlad made it 6-0 in the fifth when he drove a two-run shot with Izturis on base. Vlad is now 10 for 21 in the month of June, after batting a disappointing .219 in May. All 10 Angel hits and six runs were off Rays starter James Shields, who took his fifth loss.

The other side of the decision was Weaver, who now evens his record at 6-6. Weaver pitched seven scoreless innings before giving up a run in the eighth off Gabe Gross’ solo shot. Weaver gave up just four hits and two walks on the night, and had 70 of his 110 pitches for strikes with 5 strikeouts.

The Angels will go for the series win in today’s day game finale. John Lackey will face fellow Texan Scott Kazmir. Both started the season on the DL and have ERA’s under 2. Lackey will go for his third win, he is 8-1 in ten starts against the Rays. Kazmir is 6-1 and 2-1 in three starts against the Angels.  

June 10, 2008

Rays Blast Angels, 13-4

by @ 7:20 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels lost their second straight and first of the series with the Rays to allow Tampa Bay to move just one game behind first in the AL East. Joe Saunders was roughed up for eight runs and failed to see his 10th win.

The Angels bats did heat up in the game, with four runs on 12 hits. They added one run in both the second and third innings off Gary Matthews Jr.’s RBI-single to score Vlad and Garret Anderson’s sacfly to score Jeff Mathis. Torii Hunter gave the Angels two more runs in the fourth with his 200th career homerun, a two-run shot to right center. Vlad ended up with 2 runs scored and went 4 for 4 on the night, tying a career-high record. Matthews Jr. also went 4 for 4. The Angels were up 4-3 after the fourth but couldn’t produce any more runs as they watched the Rays score 10 more to run away with the win.

Joe Saunders was roughed up for eight runs on nine hits through 4 2/3. Saunders allowed the Rays to jump out on top in the second with three consecutive no-out solo homeruns by Evan Longoria, Willy Aybar (Erick’s brother), and Dioner Navarro. This was the first time since 2000 that an Angels pitcher yielded consecutive homeruns. Saunders then held the Rays scoreless through the third and fourth innings, but a five-run fifth blew open the game and ended Saunders’ night. The Rays continued their 18-hit game with one off Jose Arrendondo, five hits and three runs off Darren O’Day, and two runs and three hits off Darren Oliver, including Longoria’s second homer of the night.

The Angels will send Jered Weaver to the mound in the second game of the series today. Weaver looks to even his record at .500 with a win, he has one win in one outing against the Rays. He will face James Shields, who is 4-4 with a 3.64 ERA. Shields’ last win was a complete-game shuout against the Angels on May 9.

The bullpen will also be with Chris Bootcheck, as he was placed on the 15-day DL. He gave up a walk-off granny to Mark Ellis in his last outing, but a strained right elbow will keep him out for a couple weeks. O’Day was called up yesterday to take his spot and pitched two innings.

June 9, 2008

Angels-Rays Preview

by @ 7:33 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels return to Angel Stadium after a 5-1 roadtrip to Seattle and Oakland. They will host the Rays beginning today, who stand just 1 1/2 behind Boston in the AL East.

The Angels had a seven-game win streak snapped in the 12th on Sunday, but hope to beginning another win streak by sending Joe Saunders to the mound. Saunders is searching for his AL-leading 10th win. One of Sauners only two losses this season came agains the Rays on May 10, though he only gave up one run through six. He will face Edwin Jackson, who is 3-5 with a 3.95 ERA.

Chone Figgins will also make a rehab start today for Triple-A Salt Lake. He should play three games with Salt Lake this week and be back with the team for Friday’s series opener against the Braves.

June 8, 2008

A’s Beat Angels in 12 to Avoid Sweep

by @ 7:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The A’s tied the Angels at 3 in the seventh to send the game to extras, but an A’s grand slam in the 12th snapped the Angel’s seven-game win streak.

The Angels scored all three runs off A’s starter Rich Harden in the fourth. Vlad drove a two-run shot to left to score Garret Anderson and himself for the go-ahead run. Torii Hunter then singled, stole second, and scored off Gary Matthews Jr.’s RBI-single. Harden and the A’s bullpen shut down the Angels after the fourth, leaving 12 men on base and going just 1 for 12 with RISP for the game. The Angels had two men on in the 7th, 8th and 9th but failed to drive the runners home.

Ervin Santana threw another strong six-plus innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits with 9 K’s. Santana had his streak of 23 consecutive scoreless innings snapped in the first when he allowed the A’s to take a 1-0 lead off Eric Chavez’s RBI-single. He left with a one-run lead in the seventh to make way for Darren Oliver, who walked Jack Cust before pinch-runner Rajai Davis scored off Chavez’s RBI-double. Scot Shields finished the inning as well as the eighth before Justin Speier threw three hitless innings and allowed no baserunners to keep the game tied into the 12th. Chris Bootcheck then loaded the bases and gave up a walk-off granny off the left field foul pole to Mark Ellis to take the loss, his first of the season.

The A’s picked up a game on Angels but the Halos are still 4 1/2 up in the division as they kick off a nine-game homestand tomorrow.

Angels Top A’s 5-3 for Seventh Straight

by @ 9:58 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took another from the A’s for their seventh straight win to put them 5 1/2 above the A’s in the division.

The Angels took the lead again in the first with a leadoff solo homerun by Maicer Izturis on the first pitch by A’s starter Greg Smith. That was Izturis’ second straight leadoff homerun, and he ended up 2 for 5 with 3 runs and 2 RBI on the night. Izturis scored again in the third when he singled, took third on a couple groundouts, and touched home off Smith’s wild pitch. Robb Quinlan had a sacfly in the sixth to score Torii Hunter to make it 3-0. They added two more in the seventh when Brandon Wood doubled and scored on Izturis’ fielders choice. Izturis moved to third and scored again off Vlad’s sacfly.

Jon Garland earned his sixth win, giving up just two runs on five hits through 7-plus innings. He had 8 K’s, the most while with the Angels. Garland left in the eighth after giving up a two-run shot followed by a double. Jose Arrendondo then closed out the eighth, leaving a runner stranded at second. K-Rod earned his 26th save, though he did give up a solo shot to Jack Cust, who had fanned three times to Garland in earlier innings.

The Angels go for the sweep of the A’s today at 1:05. Izturis will shoot for his third consecutive leadoff homerun against A’s starter Rich Harden. Harden is 3-0 this season and 5-3 lifetime against the Angels. Ervin Santana takes the mound to go for his ninth win, he is 3-0 lifetime at McAfee Colliseum. A win would put the Angels at their longest win streak since July 2006, and a Cubs loss would set the Angels for sole possession of the best record in baseball.

June 7, 2008

Escobar Update

by @ 12:21 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Kelvim Escobar had a brief bullpen session off the mound on Friday. This was the first time Escobar has thrown off the mound since last season, where he went 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA as a starter.

Escobar should return just after the All-Star Break, but may begin his season as a reliver instead of a starter. Escobar was the Blue Jays closer before coming to the Angels, where he did relieve in 2005 to help the Angels close out September with a division title. He will likely come out of the bullpen for one or two inning outings before he regains full strength and can move back to the starters’ role.  

Angels Beat A’s for Sixth Straight Win

by @ 7:17 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels went into Oakland with a five-game win streak and beat the A’s 3-1 to move the streak to six.

The Angels never trailed in the game, scoring first with solo homer in the first by Macier Izturis. They added another in the third, though unearned, by Vlad’s single. Vlad went 2 for 4 with an RBI in his first game back after missing the Seattle series. They added another in the seventh when Gary Matthews Jr. doubled and scored off Jeff Mathias’s RBI-single to make it 3-0.

John Lackey earned his second win for his performance, giving up just one run on four hits through seven innings with 5 K’s. His only mistake was a solo shot to Jack Cust in the seventh. Lackey moves to 13-3 against the A’s, 7-2 at McAfee Colliseum. Jose Arrendondo pitched an inning for the hold and K-Rod had a 1-2-3 ninth for his 25th save, with 22 straight to tie the club record, his own, for most consecutive saves.

The Angels go for their 21st road win today, sending Jon Garland to the mound to go for his sixth win. He will face lefty rookie Greg Smith, who is 3-4. Garland is 0-5 in his last seven starts against the A’s, but in his last six outings, he has given up three or fewer runs.

June 6, 2008

Angels Travel to Oakland to Take on A’s

by @ 8:26 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels, sporting a five-game win streak, head to Oakland to play the A’s in a three-game series. The A’s have a four-game win streak of their own but the Angels still remain 3 1/2 up in the division.

The Angels will send John Lackey to the mound for his fifth start. He is just 1-1 in those starts, but his 1.80 reveals his consistent control to make him pitch like the team’s ace. The Angels’ pitching staff has a 3.48 ERA together, which is fifth best in both leagues. The A’s have Joe Blanton starting, who is 3-7 with a 4.27 ERA. Blanton has just one win since April 27, but did go 3-0 against the Angels last season.

The Angels and A’s have been vying for the top spot in the AL West for the past few years, and have a 50-50 record against each other since 2003. They split the two series they this year already also.

The Angels didn’t get a first-round draft pick, as they opted to sign free agents Gary Matthews, Jr. and Torii Hunter in the off-season. But in their first pick, 74th overall, they selected pitcher Tyler Chatwood of Redlands East Valley High School. In his 11 starts as a senior, he went 9-1 with a 1.05 ERA, topped out a 97 but ranges at about 94 MPH. He also played short and outfield, batting .521 in 94 at-bats.

June 4, 2008

Angels Get Sweep of Mariners with 5-4 Win

by @ 8:16 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels completed their sweep of the Mariners in Seattle, their first of the season, and continued to extend their win streak to eight games.

The Angels got on top first with three runs in the first. Reggie Willits had a leadoff walk before Macier Izturis singled and Howie Kendrick doubled to score Willits. Torii Hunter then had a two-RBI single. The Mariners closed the gap to 3-2 over the next two innings but the Angels added two more in the fourth when Hunter walked and got to third on Gary Matthews Jr.’s single. Mike Napoli then had a sacfly to score Hunter and Matthews Jr. scored on Brandon Wood’s two-out single.

Jered Weaver improved to 5-6 after getting the win on four runs, ten hits, and 3 K’s through six innings. Darren Oliver and Justin Speier each pitched a scoreless inning apiece for the hold. K-Rod then again had a 1-2-3 ninth for his 24th save.

The Angels now have 19 road wins, which is better than their 18 at home. They have Thursday off before heading to Oakland to take on the A’s, who have a four-game win streak of their own and stand 3 1/2 behind the Angels.

Saunders Leads AL in Wins with Angels Victory

by @ 1:40 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels beat the Mariners 5-4 to add a win to their now four-game winning streak, giving Joe Saunders his AL-leading ninth victory.

The Angel offense jumped out on top to score all five runs in the first four innings, all off Mariners starter Erik Bedard, to give themselves a 5-0 lead. This was the first time in 13 games that the Angels scored more than four runs. The Angels scored one in the first off Torii Hunter’s RBI-double and added two more in the second when Macier Izturis hit a two-RBI single to score Casey Kotchman and Robb Quinlan. The Angels rallied for two more in the fifth when Quinlan hit a leadoff double followed by a walk to Jeff Mathias. Izturis and Howie Kendrick then had back-to-back RBI-singles to make it 5-0.

Joe Saunders did give up four runs to the Mariners, though he was only tagged for one earned run. The Mariners scored one in the fourth when Jose Lopez hit a solo shot. They then had a three-run fifth inning, but all runs were due to two Angel errors, who came into the came with the second fewest errors in the AL. A fielding error by Kendrick and throwing error by Quinlan, both with two outs, allowed three Mariner runs to score to close the gap to 5-4. Saunders’ one earned run allows his ERA to drop to 2.63, tied for third best in the AL. He also earned his league-leading ninth win, with the help of Jose Arrendondo who held the eighth and K-Rod’s 1-2-3 ninth, all strikeouts, for his 23rd save.

The Angels now stand 12 games above .500, their best mark of the season. They go for the sweep this afternoon, with Jered Weaver facing Carlos Silva. Silva is 3-5 but winless in starts since April 17, including a win against the Angels on April 12. Weaver is 4-2 lifetime against the Mariners.

The Angels currently hold the best road record and will look to improve that to 19-11 with a win today.

Vlad is out of the lineup again today for the third straight game, but after a doctor visit he should be cleared for play this weekend.

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