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Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Offense Bails Out The Pitching: Angels 7, A's 4

Hokie Joe wasn't at his best, but he was good enough, barely (in that the bats waited around until the bottom of the sixth to help him out). The Angels gave Joe an early 2-0 lead after two, the first run coming on a Dana Eveland wild pitch and the second on a scoring fielder's choice. But he gave up a walk to fill-in third baseman Donnie Murphy in the sixth and a double to light-hitting Rajai Davis with no out, and both of them scored on a Mark Ellis RBI single that temporarily gave Oakland a 3-2 lead.

The Angels got it back and in a big way on a Casey Kotchman double and Juan Rivera's big two-run blast, his first shot of the year off reliever Keith Foulke:

"I was looking for something offspeed, because I knew Keith Foulke throws a lot of offspeed stuff," said Rivera, who hit his first homer since Sept. 9, 2007. "I wanted to be aggressive in that situation."
It must have worked. Thereafter, the A's nipped at the Angels' heels, getting a single run in the seventh on a ridiculous two-base error by Erick Aybar on a ball that should have been an easy double play. That eventually led to a bases-loaded situation and perilously close to another run scoring; Figgins made a nice out at home to silence that possibility. Mark Ellis then lined out to Howie Kendrick, who had to climb the ladder to get the ball, ending the threat.

Aybar later atoned for his screwup by ripping a homer in the seventh. Reggie Willits got a rare RBI in a sac fly in the eighth. And through Arredondo to Shields to Frankie (the latter earning his league-leading 34th save), the Angels never lost their lead or the game, and so did Hokie Joe end the day with a league-leading 12th victory. The Angels end the day with a 5.5 game lead over Oakland.

Yahoo boxMLB.com Recap

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