The Angels hit the century mark with their winning percentage at an even .600 as they took the rubber game against the Indians in an afternoon tilt. John Lackey continued to round into form, tossing seven innings and allowing one run while striking out eight. 70 of his 113 pitches went for strikes, and he allowed only three hits, though he did walk four hitters. The Indians learned before the game that reigning Cy Young winner Cliff Lee had been dealt to the Phillies, and they played as if they’d just lost their best friend.
The Angels got off to a fast start against Indians starter Aaron Laffey. The pushed across two runs in the first inning on RBI singles from Kendry Morales and Howie Kendrick. The Indians cut the lead in half with a run in the fourth, but the Angels broke the game open with a five run fifth inning. The first six Angels to hit in the inning reached base, thanks in part to Luis Valbuena’s drop of Juan Rivera’s popup to second base. Again, Morales and Kendrick provided the big hits, combining to drive in three runs in the inning. The Angels finished their onslaught with Kendrick’s homer in the seventh inning.
Thoughts on the game:
- Howie Kendrick had himself a day. He went 3-4 with five RBI and a home run. He’s now hitting .377 with 14 RBIs in July. Just another example of a Angel who has caught fire this month.
- John Lackey is starting to put it together at the right time for both the Angels and himself. The more he pitches like this into August and September, the more money he makes next season. The question is from whom he’ll be drawing a paycheck.
- Combined with the Rangers’ loss to Detroit, the Angels lead is back to 3.5 games, and Seattle is now 7.5 games back. They shouldn’t be counted out yet, but one gets the feeling the Rangers gave the Angels their best shot, and they may not have enough the tank to make another run.