Cross posted at SoCal Sports Hub
On August 10th, Joe Saunder tossed seven innings against the New York Yankees and allowed three runs on his way to picking up his 14th victory. His ERA stood at 3.07. After last night's 6-5 loss to the A's, Saunders has now taken the mound three times since August 10th, lost all three times, given up 15 earned runs in 11 and 2/3 innings, and has seen his ERA go all the way up to 3.67.
Last night, Rajai Davis led the game off with an infield single that glanced off of Saunders' left hand, but based on recent performance, it's hard to blame what followed on an injury. Davis eventually scored the only run of the first inning, but the A's completed their scoring for the night with five runs in the second inning, coming on three singles, a two run double from Bobby Crosby, and a two run homer from Emil Brown.
The Angels threatened, clawing back with four runs of their own in the fourth inning, started off by a Garret Anderson triple, helped along by a two run single from Erick Aybar and an RBI single from Mark Teixeira. They added another in the fifth on another RBI single from Aybar, but ultimately failed to do enough with the nine free passes granted by A's pitchers, and wouldn't score again. Huston Street picked up the win with 1.2 perfect innings.
With Texas winning in Kansas City, the Angels failed to reduce their magic number, which currently sits at 15. To make matters worse, but Howie Kendrick AND Erick Aybar appeared to have hamstring issues, which prompted Juan Rivera to spend the ninth inning manning second base. On a final note, Mike Scioscia was ejected in the seventh inning during a pitching chance, presumably for arguing balls and strikes, prompted primarily from a bad called third strike on Aybar in the second inning with the bases loaded.
Angels top three performers:
1) Erick Aybar had two hits (a double and single) and drove in three runs before leaving the game in the ninth inning.
2) Mark Teixeira reached base four times, drove in one run, and his three hits pushed his Angels batting average to .379. He also recorded his 100th RBI of the season, spanning both leagues.
3) Rested during last night's complete game from John Lackey, the bullpen provided 7 and 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed the Angels to mount a comeback. Shane Loux pitched three solid innings, Jose Arredondo pitched in for two (with three strikeouts), Darren Oliver added 1.2 before being replaced (at which point Scioscia was tossed), and Justin Speier had another scoreless outing.
Jeff Weaver of the game: The easy pick is Saunders, his six runs allowed digging a hole that the Angels couldn't crawl out of. But Torii Hunter is a good pick here as well. He went 0-4, struck out three times, and left six runners on base, most of them in scoring position.
What to look for tonight: Jon Garland tries to get back on track. He's put up a couple bad performances following a string of mediocre performances. He faces former White Sox teammate Brandon McCarthy, who went four innings and allowed one run to Cleveland in his first start of the season last week. You can also look for Kendrick and Aybar, but you may have to look hard, because after last night's hamstring problems, neither may be on the field.
Game Time is 7:05 PST on FSN.