Cross-posted at SoCal Sports Hub.
The Angels started the slow march to the post-season by continuing to rest a few regulars, while Jeff Weaver made his first trip to the mound since cutting his fingers in Detroit a couple weeks ago, but the results were the same as they've been all season as the Angels won yet again. The Angels used single runs in the third and fourth innings before breaking it open with a five run sixth, and held on for a 7-4 victory. Francisco Rodriguez earned his 57th save in the process, tying the record set by Bobby Thigpen.
Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez, and Kendry Morales each delivered three hits in the victory, and don't look now, but Wood is hitting .288 and slugging .519 since his recall, and is at 333/358/600 with three homers in his last 12 games. If he continues to get comfortable at the plate, he could very well send Erick Aybar to the bench in the playoffs, or at the very least give Mike Scioscia something to think about. Vlad Guerrero added an RBI single in the five run sixth inning, pushing his average to the .300 mark for the season. And just when it looked like the Angels would cruise to victory, Justin Speier and Scot Shields combined for one inning of relief, allowing four runs on six hits, creating a save situation for Rodriguez in the process. He responded by inducing a double play grounder from Ichiro,and eventually got Raul Ibanez to ground out to first to end the game.
Top Three Angels performers:
1) Jered Weaver rebounded from his injury to throw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, and three walks, while striking out three.
2) Garret Anderson pushed his average over .290 with two hits, and drove in three runs in the process.
3) Brandon Wood had an RBI single in the fourth, and a double in the sixth which helped kick start the rally.
Jeff Weaver of the game: Justin Speier has done everything possible to pitch himself off the post-season roster, and last night was no different. He didn't last an inning, and gave up three runs on four hits, including the 15th home run he's allowed this season.
What to look for tonight: I'd imagine that Mark Teixeira will be back on the field, but look for the Angels to continue to get guys ready for October. Joe Saunders, who was solid on Sunday in Chicago, takes the mound against Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Aussie is 2-1 in eight starts with a 3.91 ERA. His numbers look a little better when you include his relief appearances (4-2, 3.61 ERA).
Game time is 7:05 PST on FSN