View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

MLB: Halos enter break hot

Callaspo’s two-RBI double in eighth leads to sweep of Seattle

Posted: July 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 11, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick, left, and outfielder Torii Hunter celebrate after scoring against the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning on Sunday in Anaheim.

 

ANAHEIM — It would be difficult to draw up a better scenario for the Los Angeles Angels heading into the All-Star break.

A dramatic win. Clutch hitting. Another great pitching performance. A series sweep of a division rival.

Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium included all of that.

The scary part is, Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t think the team is at its peak yet.

“We’re playing better baseball. It’s not our best baseball,” Scioscia said. “There’s some upside on this team and we need it. We definitely need to continue with our lineup getting deeper and our bullpen.”

Once again, Los Angeles (50-42) used late magic to sink the Mariners and complete the four-game series sweep before the All-Star break in front of a crowd of 39,505.

It also completes a 13-game home stand during which the Angels tied a club record with 11 wins and won seven games decided by two runs or less.

On Sunday, it was Alberto Callaspo that delivered, breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning when he drove a two-RBI double into right-center field, scoring Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick with two out.

Callaspo finished 3-for-4 with the pair of RBIs and a run scored.

The eventual game-winning hit came off Mariners reliever David Pauley, who had allowed a walk-off home run against the Angels two days earlier.

Pauley came into Sunday with a 1.55 ERA, but his mishap benefitted Angels starter Dan Haren.

Haren (10-5) came away with the win after tossing 8 2/3 innings and allowing two runs off five hits while striking out seven.

“I didn’t really feel that good the whole day, to be honest,” Haren said. “I settled down, I limited mistakes and just kept the ball down.”

After spotting the Mariners two runs in the first inning, Haren went away from his splitter and instead worked on location and relied on his fastball and curve.

As the day went on, Mariner hitters had less and less of an answer at the plate, managing just one baserunner after the fifth inning.

“I feel like we had some decent at-bats today, but not a lot to show for it,” said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. “It was a tough series. It was a tough ballgame again today.”

Seattle (43-48) scored its only runs of the game when Adam Kennedy slapped a pitch into left field for a two-out, two-RBI single in the first.

Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley scored on the play, but the bats went dry after that.

Still, it wasn’t an ideal situation for Los Angeles to be in, trailing 2-0 and facing All-Star Mariners pitcher and reigning American League Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.

Despite a somewhat shaky start, Hernandez battled his way through seven innings, surrendering only a two-run home run to Angels rookie Mike Trumbo in the fourth.

It was Trumbo’s third consecutive game with a homer, including the game-winner on Friday.

“I’m very happy with what I’ve done, but more importantly, what we’ve done as a collective unit and how everybody’s come around,” said Trumbo, who leads all MLB rookies this season with 17 home runs. “At the same time, it’s pretty special to see this and it’s something we’ve been waiting for for awhile.”

Hernandez (8-8) gave up six hits total and fanned six, retiring the last 11 batters he faced.

“I felt like he beared down when he needed to,” Wedge said. “He had real good stuff. The ball was dancing and moving all over the place out there.”

Haren, on the other hand, came just one out from his second straight complete game, but was instead pulled in favor of Jordan Walden.

Walden struck out Franklin Gutierrez, the only batter he faced, on a fastball that registered 99 miles per hour.

“Any pitcher wants to finish the game, I mean of course,” Haren said. “But I respect the manager’s decision and it’s not that bad of an option. Do you go with me at about 120 pitches or do you go with Walden fresh throwing 100 (miles per hour)?”

It was the 20th save of the season for Walden, who was elected to Tuesday’s All-Star game in Phoenix to replace New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Walden will join teammates Jered Weaver and Howie Kendrick in the Mid-Summer Classic.

Los Angeles remains a game out of first place in the AL West behind Texas, which beat Oakland 2-0 on Sunday.

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...