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July 31, 2008

Teixeira Debuts, Angels Sweep Boston

by @ 4:00 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels completed a three-game sweep of Boston on Wednesday to move to an 8-1 record against the Sox this season.

The Angels smacked 16 hits and touched the plate nine times in the 9-2 win. Mark Teixeira debuted in his Halos uniform, but was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts. The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the fourth started by a leadoff double by Maicer Izturis. He scored on Vlad’s RBI-single. Vlad moved to third on Torii Hunter’s double and scored on Garret Anderson’s RBI-single. The Angels then exploded for five runs in the sixth to chase away starter Josh Beckett, including a two-run blast by Anderson for the second consecutive game. He ended the night with four hits and four RBI. Hunter also added a solo homerun in the ninth and now has a 12 game hit streak.

Joe Saunders earned his 14th win and is now an unbeaten 4-0 in six career starts against the Red Sox. Saunders threw six innings and his only mistake was a two-run homerun to Coco Crisp in the fifth. Justin Speier and Darren Oliver then combined for three shutout innings.

The Angels have lost just twice in 12 games since the All-Star break. They head to the Bronx for a four-game series with the Yankees for their last regular season appearance at Yankee Stadium. Jon Garland will take the hill and look to send his win total to double digits; 6 of his 9 wins have come on the road this season. He will face lefty Andy Pettitte, who has a new batterymate with Ivan Rodriguez who just came over from the Tigers. Pettitte is 12-7 this season and 12-6 lifetime against the Angels, but hasn’t faced them yet in ’08.

July 29, 2008

Lackey Takes No-No Into 9th, Angels Win 6-2

by @ 7:57 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The hype surrounding the acquisition of Mark Teixeira was soon and briefly overshadowed as John Lackey was just two outs away from a no-hitter of the Red Sox. Lackey did earn the complete-game win as the Angels clinched the series with Boston and are now an astounding 12 games up in the division.

In the last game with this lineup before Teixeira arrives, the Angels put up six runs on seven hits. They took a 2-0 lead in the third when Robb Quinlan scored on Chone Figgins’ RBI-single before Jeff Mathis scored on a bases-loaded walk to Maicer Izturis. They added two more in the fourth on Garret Anderson’s two-run blast. Two more insurance runs came in the seventh when Quinlan tripled and scored off Howie Kendrick’s sacfly. Mathis then scored on Izturis’ infield single.

John Lackey came to Fenway on Tuesday with a 1-4 record and 7.46 ERA there. He turned those numbers around by not allowing a hit until one out in the ninth. He only allowed two baserunners through six, a walk in the sixth before he hit J.D. Drew in the second. Dustin Pedroia ended Lackey’s no-hit bid with a single through the left side before Kevin Youkilis drove a two-run homerun to end the shutout. Lackey got his ninth win while helping the Angels improve to 7-1 against the Red Sox this season.

The Angels go for the sweep on Wednesday, with Joe Saunders taking the hill to look for his 14th win, which would tie him for most wins in the AL. He will face ace Josh Beckett, who is 9-7 with a 3.83 ERA and lost his last start against the Angels on July 19, giving up four runs in eight innings.

Angels Add Power by Landing Teixeira

by @ 7:28 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels made a headline trade with the Atlanta Braves today, getting power-firstbaseman Mark Teixeira while the Angels send Casey Kotchman and Double-A ball reliever Stephen Marek.

Teixeira is batting .283 with 20 homers and 78 RBI this season. The switch-hitter will bat in the three slot in the lineup, with Vlad batting behind him as the cleanup man. Teixeira is a free agent after this season, but the Angels wouldn’t mind giving him an extended contract to keep him with the team.

The Angels are lacking in power numbers in the AL, but Teixeira will boost those with his arrival. He should suit up in an Angels uniform for Wednesday’s game at Boston. A new ESPN.com poll reveals almost 90% think Teixeira is the best player dealt thus far, while 62% predict the Angels making it to the World Series, with most of them seeing an Angels’ World Series championship.

July 28, 2008

Six-Run 6th Powers Angels Victory

by @ 9:52 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels headed to Boston and beat the Red Sox on Monday in front of a national crowd. A six-run sixth inning powered the Angels past the Sox, 7-5, to give them their fifth win in the last six games.

Juan Rivera put the Angels up 1-0 in the second with a bases-loaded sacfly to score Vlad; Rivera also extended his hit streak to 11 games with a single. The Angels were then down a run heading into the six, but the Angels would bat around and put up six runs to regain the lead. Chone Figgins led things off with a walk before stealing second and coming around to score on Casey Kotchman’s two-run homerun. Maicer Izturis then doubled and Vlad singled to put runners on the corners for Torii Hunter, who came to the plate and blasted a three-run shot over the Green Monster. The Angels then worked for another run, with Howie Kendrick scoring on a squeeze bunt by Jeff Mathis. The Angel offense handed Dice-K just his second loss, while tagging him for six runs on seven hits.

Jered Weaver threw a decent game, and was able to earn his ninth win with the help of the sixth-inning run support. Weaver allowed the Sox to take a one-run lead with a two-RBI single to Manny in the fourth. Weaver gave up another run in the six before leaving with two outs in the inning. Jose Arrendondo came in and struck out Jacoby Ellsbury with bases loaded to end a threat. Scott Shields gave up a run in the eighth and K-Rod took the mound in the ninth with a three-run lead. K-Rod got his 44th save, but not before Manny hit a two-out solo homerun for an attempt at a comeback. Manny had three of Boston’s five runs, but talk of a trade away of Manny before the deadline could possibly put him out of a Red Sox uniform as early as in this series.

Tuesday’s matchup is John Lackey and Clay Buchholz. Lackey is in search of his ninth win, but has an elevated ERA over 7 in his last four starts, though he did get a win against Boston last weekend. Buchholz is 2-5 but is winless in three starts after coming back from a brief stint in the minors.

July 27, 2008

Angels Drop Finale to O’s

by @ 3:42 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels lost on Sunday, 5-2, to fall one win short of the series sweep. The loss is just the second for the Angels since the All-Star break, and they still hold a 10-game lead in the AL West over the second-place Rangers, the A’s have fallen to 11.5 games back.

The offense took a rare slowdown for this game, with the Angels getting just two runs on eight hits. They scored one in the fourth when Erick Aybar scored on Vlad’s RBI-groundout. They added another in the seventh when Juan Rivera scored on Garret Anderson’s pinch-hit single.

Ervin Santana was roughed up from the first inning and couldn’t recover for the win, he takes his fifth loss in 20 total starts. He gave up two runs in both the second and third innings and was taken out after five. Justin Speier threw two innings and Darren O’Day pitched one.

One loss in their past five games is hardly anything to worry about, the Angels still hold the best home and road records in baseball. They head out to Boston on Monday for a three-game series with the Red Sox. Boston is in danger of being swept by division-rival Yankees tonight, so they may be in a bit of a slump as they open their series with the Angels. Jered Weaver will take the mound and look for his ninth win on Monday in front of a nationally-televised crowd. He is winless in five starts against the Red Sox for his career. Boston sends Dice-K to the mound, who holds an outstanding 11-1 record with a 2.63 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .202.

July 26, 2008

Hunter Leads Angels Past O’s in Power Battle

by @ 8:41 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels beat the Orioles 11-6 on Saturday to clinch the series and give them their ninth win in the last ten.

The Angels took an early lead again with two in the first off Torii Hunter’s two-RBI single, the first of five RBI that Hunter tallied for the night. The O’s took a short one-run lead in the bottom half but Casey Kotchman put the Angels back on top with a two-run homerun in the third, a career-high tying 11 for the season. Hunter then added a solo shot of his own in the same inning. Howie Kendrick singled in Hunter in the sixth for another run before Juan Rivera blasted a three-run homerun in the eighth to put the Angels up 9-5. Garret Anderson scored on Rivera’s homerun to tally 1,000 career runs, which is most for any Angels player ever. Hunter’s performance wasn’t over yet; he added his fifth RBI, fourth run, and third hit with a two-run homerun in the ninth.

Jon Garland was backed by enough run support to get his ninth win of the year. He gave up a three-run homerun to give the O’s a one-run lead in the first, but was lights-out for the next four inning before giving up another two-run homerun in the sixth. Garland left with one out in the sixth to make way for Jose Arrendondo, who finished the inning plus another for the hold. Darren Oliver threw the final two innings, giving up one run on one hit, before the Angels got the win to clinch the series.

The Angels can get the sweep on Sunday, sending Ervin Santana to the mound to face lefty Garrett Olson. Santana is looking for his 12th win, and is 1-1 lifetime against the Orioles. Olson is 6-5 but with a stocky 6.11 ERA.

Angels Steal Series from O’s with Two Wins

by @ 8:24 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels extended their win streak to four by heading into Baltimore and taking the first two from the Orioles, a 6-5 win on Friday followed by an 11-6 win on Saturday.

Joe Saunders, pitching not too far from his hometown, earned the win as the Angels escaped with the one-run win after K-Rod gave up a rare homerun in the bottom of the ninth.

The lineup saw the return of Torii Hunter, after missing a few games to be with his family, who was 1 for 4 with a two-out, two-RBI double in the first to give the Angels an early lead. Juan Rivera hit a solo shot and Casey Kotchman a two-run HR in the second to put the Angels up 5-0. The Orioles came striking back to make it a one-run lead, but the Angels added a much needed insurance run in the eighth of Garret Anderson’s RBI-single.

Joe Saunders had given up just one run, a solo homerun to Kevin Millar in the third, through six and took the mound in the seventh with a 5-1 lead. Saunders had two outs in the seventh but loaded the bases before giving up a two-RBI double. The O’s made it a one-run game when Millar scored off a passed ball by Mathis. Scot Shields came in and struck out Brian Roberts on three pitches to end the inning. He got another K in the eighth for his 22nd hold in 23 chances this season. K-Rod then took the mound with a two-run lead in the ninth. Millar scored his third run of the night with a two-out solo homerun off K-Rod. K-Rod put a man on second with a double before inducing a groundout to end the threat and get his 43rd save.

July 25, 2008

Angels-Orioles Preview

by @ 9:57 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels, after going 5-1 on this homestand including a sweep of the Red Sox, head out for a 10-game road trip to Baltimore, Boston, and finally New York.

The Angels head into Baltimore with a 10-game lead over the A’s in the division. That lead is the largest for the club since August 1995 when they were 10 1/2 games up. That same month they set the club record with an 11 game lead. The Angels have a chance tonight to tie that record with a win and an A’s loss. They send Joe Saunders to the mound in search of lucky win number 13. Saunders threw a two-run no decision in his last outing against the Red Sox. He will face lefty Brian Burres, who is 7-6 with a 5.02 ERA. Burres has lost just two starts in his last 11 outings.

July 23, 2008

Angels Take Two Straight from Tribe to Win Series

by @ 8:02 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

After a loss on Monday, the Angels came back to beat the Indians on Tuesday 3-2 and Wednesday 14-11 to take the series and win seven of their last eight.

The Angels won by just one run on Tuesday to split the series. After the Indians scored two in the first two innings, the Angels tied it up in the second with two runs. Jeff Mathis hit a fielders’ choice to drive in a run and came around to score after stealing second off Reggie Willits’ RBI-single. Mathis’ leadoff solo homerun in the fifth was the difference in the game.

The Angels had to do without starter Jeff Weaver after the third when he was pulled for a shoulder knot. Weaver had already thrown 77 pitches and given up two runs, including a leadoff homerun in the first to Grady Sizemore to give the Indians an early lead. Weaver was backed up by the bullpen, though, and is still expected to make his next scheduled start at Boston on Monday. Darren Oliver, Jose Arrendondo, Scott Shields and K-Rod all combined for six shutout innings with just four hits. Oliver earned the win and K-Rod got the save while stranding the tying run at second.

The rubber match was an offensive attack from both sides, but the Angels outhit and outscored the Indians to win the series.

The offense was powered by Casey Kotchman, who was a career-high perfect 5 for 5, Howie Kendrick, who was 4 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI, and Jeff Mathis, who was 4 for 5 with 2 runs and 6 RBI, including a grand slam. the first of his career. The Angels totaled 19 hits and scored at least two runs in all but three innings. They were down 2-0 after the first, tied it up in the second, but were back down again by the fourth. They took a brief lead in the bottom of the fourth but exploded for five runs in the fifth to hold the lead, led by a bases-loaded walk to Gary Matthews Jr. followed by Mathis’ granny. The only Angel not to have a hit was Chone Figgins, who went 0 for 6 atop the lineup. Torii Hunter was also absent from the hot offensive night, but should be back in the lineup by the weekend.

John Lackey should feel lucky to have been given that much run support, as he was tagged for six runs on eight hits through five innings. He left after five with a lead, though, and went on to take the win. He gave the Tribe a two-run lead in the second and allowed them to take the lead again in the fourth by surrendering a two-run shot to Garko. The Angels were down a run in the middle of the fifth but the Angels’ five-run rally allowed Lackey to sail on for his eighth win. Justin Speier threw a hitless sixth before Darren O’Day came in and struggled for 1-plus innings, giving up four runs on three hits. Jose Arrendondo surrendered a run and took the game into the ninth before K-Rod got his 42nd save after throwing just one pitch, a two-out ground-out to Ben Francisco to end the game.

July 22, 2008

Angels Lose First Game of Second Half

by @ 12:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels dropped snapped their five game winning streak by losing to the Indians 5-2 on Monday.

The Angels had ten hits, one more than the Tribe, but could only produce for two runs. They tied it up in the second with an RBI single by Jeff Mathis, but then left the bases loaded with two outs when Macier Izturis flied out to end the threat. The Angels  were 2 for 13 with RISP and left nine men on base for the night, with eight stranded in the first five innings alone. Howie Kendrick added a solo shot in the eighth for the second run and was 3 for 4 on the night. Gary Matthews, Jr. was also back in the lineup for the first time in five games, but didn’t fare so well, going 0 for 4 with 2 K’s and committing a fielding error in right.

The box score for Santana looked good: three earned runs on seven hits with 8 K’s through seven innings. He lacked run support and took his fourth loss, though. The three earned runs came off two homers and he was also tagged for an unearned run in the second when Jhonny Peralta reached off Matthews Jr.’s error and came around to score.

The Angels can make it six of seven with a win tonight. They send Jered Weaver to the mound for his first start against the Tribe this season. Weaver is 2-1 in the past month but hasn’t pitched in nearly two weeks. He will face Matt Ginter, who is making just his second MLB start since 2005. He won his first start this year, but the Angels look to stop him and the Indians, who have a modest three-game win streak and have won seven of their last eight.

July 21, 2008

Late Rally Gives Angels Sweep of Red Sox

by @ 12:00 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels rallied for three in the eighth while K-Rod went on for his league leading 40th save to give the Angels a 5-3 win and series sweep of Boston, their first of the Red Sox in Anaheim since 1998.

The Angels struck first with two in the second with solo homeruns by Vlad and Torii Hunter. Vlad is now 8 for 19 lifetime against Tim Wakefield, with 5 of those hits being longballs. Boston then tied it in the third and took a one-run lead in the seventh, but the Angels rallied for three runs in the eighth to take the lead. Juan Rivera led off with a double and pinch runner Reggie Willits was driven home by Howie Kendrick’s double to tie it. Kendrick moved to third on Jeff Mathis’ bunt and runners were on the corners for Casey Kotchman when Chone Figgins walked. Kotchman ripped a double to right field to score Kendrick and Figgins for the go-ahead runs.

Jon Garland held the Red Sox to three runs (two earned) on six hits through 6 2/3. Garland gave the Sox two runs in the third off a couple singles and a double to Manny Ramirez. Garland then shut the Sox down until the eighth when Coco Crisp (who walked then stole second) scored an unearned run after Vlad misfielded Jacoby Ellsbury’s double. Darren Oliver finished the inning for the win before K-Rod struck out all three batters in the ninth for his 40th save, the fastest closer to reach 40 saves in history (98 games).

The Angels continue their homestand by hosting the Indians for a three-game series beginning tonight. Ervin Santana will face Paul Byrd. Santana got a win against the A’s in his last start and also threw in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Byrd is 3-10 with a 5.47 ERA and is winless since June 6.

July 19, 2008

Angels Pound Red Sox with Two Wins, Now Four Straight

by @ 5:27 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels came out of the All-Star break to attack the Red Sox pitching on Friday with an 11-3 win. A 4-2 win on Saturday gives them a four-game win streak and puts them 8 up in the division.

Friday’s 11-run effort was led by Garrett Anderson, who totaled 5 RBI’s and was 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored and a solo homerun. The Angels jumped out for the lead by rallying for three runs in the first, including a single by Anderson to get his first RBI of the night. Their lead was cut to one by the fourth, but the Angels got lucky with four unearned runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach. The Angels had two outs in the fifth, but a fielding error by shortstop Alex Cora started the rally with one run scoring. Anderson then added an RBI single and Howie Kendrick drove in two with a single. The offense totaled 14 hits on the night, with multi-hit games by Anderson, Kotchman, Izturis, and Vlad.

John Lackey’s seventh win also came along with his 1,000th strikeout of his career. He was given a three-run lead by the second and went on to throw seven innings, giving up three runs on five hits with six K’s. Lackey was given plenty of run support and back up by the defense to give him the win. His only mistake was a two-run homerun to Kevin Youkilis in the second, but he came back to strike out Youkilis in the fourth for his 1,000th. Justin Speier and Darren O’Day each threw a hitless inning.

The Angels continued their winning ways on Saturday with a slim 4-2 win over Boston to put them 21 games over .500.

Boston scored two in the second and the Angels trailed all the way to the seventh when they rallied for four runs to make way for the win. Vlad led off the seventh with a solo homerun off the first pitch from Josh Beckett. Torii Hunter and Garret Anderson then singled and moved to second and third by a sacrifice by Reggie Willits. Beckett then intentionally walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases. Erick Aybar cleared the bases with a three-RBI triple to give the Angels the go-ahead runs. Gary Matthews Jr. was also scratched from the lineup for his sore left knee. An MRI will determine when Matthews Jr. can return to the lineup.

Joe Saunders went a strong 6 2/3, giving up only two runs, but Jose Arrendondo got the win after the Angels put up their four runs in the seventh. Saunders only gave Boston two runs, coming off a two-run homerun by Kevin Youkilis, his second in this series. Arrendondo pitched to just two batters in the seventh but takes the win to move his record to 4-0. Scot Shields escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth by striking out Jed Lowrie. K-Rod then got his 39th save, stranding two Red Sox runners and getting Mike Lowell, the winning run at the plate, to pop out.

The Angels will go for the sweep on Sunday. They send Jon Garland to the mound after getting a extra days’ rest for a stiff neck. He should be plenty rested after not having a start in 8 days, with his last start giving up 10 hits in just 2 2/3 innings. Garland will lead the Angels in front of a national ESPN crowd at home and will face veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Wakefield is 6-6 this season and 5-6 lifetime at Angel Stadium.

July 17, 2008

Angels Dive Into Second Half with 6 Game Lead

by @ 7:23 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels emerge from the All-Star break with a six game lead above the A’s in the West, which is the biggest lead of any MLB division leader. They open the second half with a three-game series with the first-place Red Sox beginning Friday.

So it’s the best of the west versus the best of the east for this weekend series. The last time the Red Sox came to Anaheim was last year when they swept the Angels out of the playoffs. The Angels won 2 of 3 at Fenway back in April. On Friday, John Lackey will take the mound and face Clay Buchholz. Lackey is 6-2 but is coming off a rough outing, giving up 6 earned runs in 5 2/3. Buchholz is 2-4, having a low record after being pulled from Boston’s starting rotation for the past two months. Lackey is 1-6 in his last 11 starts against the Angels and Buchholz is 1-0 against the Angels, the win coming in his first big league appearance.

July 16, 2008

Angels Kick Off Second Half Against Possible ALCS Opponent

by @ 7:14 pm. Filed under Angels Season Lookbacks, Angels Tickets

Yeah, the Angels are cruising.  The A’s are giving up and the Angels lead is building.  My bet is, they cruise in the second half and they kick things off after the All Star break with the defending champions, the Boston Red Sox.  I’m hoping to get down to the ballpark but with the Angels first place ways, tickets are getting tough to come by.  First stop was the Angels box office but I didn’t want to pay top dollar for a nose bleed seats.  Good thing I checked out some baseball ticket brokers because they had the tickets I wanted. 

July 7, 2008

Injury Updates, Angels-Rangers Preview

by @ 1:44 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels will be without catcher Mike Napoli, who was placed on the 15-day DL for shoulder inflammation. Ryan Budde was called up from Salt Lake to take the roster spot.

The return of Kelvim Escobar is growing more questionable, as he may have to undergo surgery for his shoulder. He will visit a specialst today and if surgery is needed, Escobar will definitely miss the rest of the season and possibly up to half of next season.

The Angels leave town and head out for a seven-game road trip beginning in Texas. They still hold the best road record in all of baseball, and winning three of the next seven will break the club record of most wins before the All-Star break, which is 55 set in 1979. Ervin Santana will take the mound Monday and face Luis Mendoza. All-Star Santana will look to get his win total at double digits; he is 5-4 lifetime against the Rangers including a win earlier this season. Mendoza is 1-2 but hasn’t earned a win as a starter since last September.

All-Star Joe Saunders is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday, but he may be scratched from taking the mound depending on the birth of his first baby with his wife.

Trio of Angel Pitchers Voted to All-Star Team

by @ 1:32 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, and Francisco Rodriquez have all been voted to the AL All-Star Team. That’s three Angels of the 12 AL pitchers that got the All-Star nod. Saunders finished second and Santana fourth in starters’ voting while K-Rod led all relief pitchers with his MLB-leading 34 saves.

This is the first time that the Angels have sent three pitchers to the All-Star Game. No position players were selected, leaving out Vlad Guerrero, who was an outfield starter for the AL for the past four years. Vlad will have a chance at the Home Run Derby again after winning it all last year.

July 6, 2008

Angels Lose Saturday but Take Series on Sunday

by @ 4:43 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels dropped their second game to the Jays on Saturday, 7-5, before beating them on Sunday to get the series win, 7-1.

Toronto put up a three run lead in the third on Saturday and the Angel offense couldn’t catch up against Jays’ starter Roy Halladay. Vlad made it a one-run game in the fourth with a two-homerun but the Jays added four more runs over the next few innings. The Angels made an effort at a comeback in the last two innings, with an RBI double by Vlad in the eighth and two runs in the ninth, but they came up short for the loss.

John Lackey’s impressive run came to a halt on Saturday. He gave up a season-high six runs (five earned) on seven hits through six innings. Lackey gave the Jays an early lead in the third when he gave up a two-RBI single followed by another run scored off Chone Figgins’ error. Lackey left after six to take his second loss. Justin Speier gave up another in the seventh and Darren O’Day pitched two hitless innings.

Jon Garland led the Angels to a series win on Sunday by throwing a complete game as the Angels got the 7-1 win.

The offense was lead by Jeff Mathis, who went 2 for 4 with a run and 3 RBI. The Angels took an early lead by scoring two in the first off Garret Anderson’s two-out double. Juan Rivera made it 3-0 in the next inning with a leadoff solo shot. The Jays managed a run in the fifth but the Angels came back with three in the sixth, two off Mathis’ RBI-single and one scored by Mathis on a wild pitch. They capped it off in the seventh when Torii Hunter singled and scored off Mathis’ RBI-single.

Jon Garland’s complete game victory is the eighth of the season and the 100th of his career. Garland threw just 98 pitches, with 67 being strikes, for his one-run, six-hit effort. Garland’s only mistake was a two-out solo homerun to Rod Barajas in the fifth. The win gives the Angels the series and is their fourth win in the last five.

July 5, 2008

Angels Beat Jays in First Game, 8-2

by @ 7:14 am. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

Jered Weaver held the Jays to two runs while the offense put up eight of their own on 13 hits to beat the Jays and set their win streak at three.

The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the second, a solo shot by Torii Hunter followed by a run driven in by Howie Kendrick. They added three more in the sixth Gary Matthews Jr. drove an RBI-double before he and Hunter scored off Kendrick’s 2-RBI-single. They made it 8-0 in the seventh off Macier Izturis’ RBI-single followed by Garret Anderson’s two-run homerun. Anderson is 5 for 8 this month after batting just .188 in the month of June.

Weaver, after giving up no hits but still taking the loss in his last outing, earned his eighth win. He held the Jays to two runs on six hits with six K’s through 7 1/3. He left after giving up one run in the eighth and was tagged for another when Justin Speier allowed the runner to score. Darren Oliver then finished off the ninth.

Today’s game will be an exciting pitching duel, with John Lackey facing Roy Halladay. Lackey, the AL Pitcher of the Month, is in search of his seventh win after pitching 8 2/3 shutout innings in his last outing for the win. Halladay is 9-6 with a 2.90 ERA and leads both leagues with six complete games. Halladay is 5-5 lifetime against the Angels.

July 3, 2008

Angels-Jays Preview

by @ 6:18 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels took two of three from the A’s to give themselves a 5 1/2 game lead in the division and open a series with the Jays on Friday, who are last place in the AL East.

Jered Weaver is pitching his first game since his “no-hitter” against the Dodgers on Saturday. It resulted in a loss but he looks for a win on Friday to even his record at .500. He will face AJ Burnett, who is 8-7 with a 4.74 ERA. Burnett has an ERA under 1 in his last two starts, including a season-high 11 strikeouts in his last start.

The Angels have won four of six against the Jays this year and the Jays come to Angel Stadium with 2-9 road record in their last eleven.

July 2, 2008

Angels Take Series with 7-4 Win

by @ 8:45 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels beat the A’s to take the series and put themselves back up on top in the division by 5 1/2 games.

The Angels put up two in the first couple innings to take a 2-0 lead. Erick Aybar scored on a wild pitch in the first and Howie Kendrick made it 2-0 in the second when he scored on a fielder’s choice by Juan Rivera. Rivera played in left in place of Garret Anderson for the third time in the last four games. Rivera’s start paid off when he hit a two-run homerun in the sixth to give the Angels the go-ahead run in the sixth after Kotchman doubled to score Torii Hunter. They added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth, a solo shot by Aybar in the seventh and a sacfly Reggie Willits to score Kendrick in the eighth.

Joe Saunders pitched his way to his AL-leading 12th win. He gave up four runs (two earned) on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The A’s scored their first run in the fourth after Emil Brown doubled and  Gary Matthews Jr.’s throwing error allowed the runner to score from first. Saunders gave them two runs in the sixth for a short lead by giving up a two-RBI-single to Mark Ellis. The Angels regained the lead in the bottom half and another A’s unearned run in the seventh made no difference. K-Rod also closed the ninth for his 34th save to tie John Smoltz’s record for most saves before the All-Star break.

The Angels carry their two-game win streak into the weekend as they host the Jays after Thursday’s off day.

Anderson’s HR Puts Angels Past A’s

by @ 1:59 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels-A’s series is now tied at one game apiece after the Angels came from behind to beat the A’s 5-3 on Wednesday.

The Angels tied it at 2-2 in the third when Gary Matthews Jr. led things off by getting hit by a pitch. Kendrick doubled him over to third and Matthews Jr. scored on Mathis’ sacfly and Kendrick scored when Casey Kotchman, batting second, grounded out. The Angels were then down again, 3-2, heading into the eighth. Casey Kotchman led things off with a double, and pinch runner Reggie Willits came around to score on Vlad’s RBI-single. Garret Anderson, back in the lineup after resting for two days during a slump, came to the plate and drove a two-run shot to put the Angels up 5-3.

Ervin Santana struggled at first, giving the A’s two runs in the first two innings. He regained control and kept the A’s scoreless for his next five innings, and totaled seven K’s. Santana left with a tie, though, and Scott Shields earned the win instead of Santana. Shields actually gave up a go-ahead solo homer to Mark Ellis but the Angel rally in the bottom half allowed him to get his fourth win. K-Rod pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 33rd save. K-Rod need just two more saves in the next 11 games to break John Smoltz’s record for most saves before the All-Star break.

Joe Saunders faces Dana Eveland in today’s rubber match. Saunders will go for his 12th while Eveland is at 6-5.

John Lackey was also named June’s Pitcher of the Month for his 5-0 record and 1.16 ERA for the month.

July 1, 2008

Angels Drop First to Division Rivals

by @ 7:39 pm. Filed under 2008 Angels, Angels Season Lookbacks

The Angels allowed the A’s to gain a game on their first place standing by dropping to them on Monday, 6-1.

The Angels met with hitting coach Mickey Hatcher before the game, but that apparently did no good as the offense put up just one run on four hits off Greg Smith’s complete game victory for the A’s. They’ve now scored just two runs in the past four games and are batting .176 in their past five. The 3-4-5 hitters went hitless in the game and the only run came off Mike Napoli’s solo shot in the fifth. Juan Rivera also took the birthday boy Garret Anderson’s spot in left for the game. Anderson has now been benched for two straight games after batting just .188 for the month of June, but will back in the lineup on Tuesday to hopefully kick off July with a better swing.

Jon Garland failed to earn his 100th big league victory after giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits in six innings. He gave the A’s a two-run lead in the second and left in the seventh after Juan Rivera dropped a fly ball. The error allowed Garland to be tagged for two unearned runs and put the A’s up 4-1. Darren Oliver then gave up a run in the eighth and Howie Kendrick’s throwing error past first in the ninth put the A’s at six runs.

The Angels suffered more than one loss on Monday: Kelvim Escobar may be out for the remainder of the season. Escobar made a rehab start for Class A on Monday, striking out four of the ten batters he faced in three innings, but started to feel pain again in his shoulder. He is scheduled to meet with his doctor tonight and a decision on when, or even whether, he returns will be determined.

The second game of the set is a matchup between Ervin Santana and Rich Harden, who is 5-0. Santana is in search of his tenth win while the Angel offense looks to heat things up after batting under .200 with four losses in their past five games.

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