It took extra frames and a near heart attack from closer..."/> It took extra frames and a near heart attack from closer..."/>

Post-Game Report: Angels vs. Rangers (7/10/08)


It took extra frames and a near heart attack from closer Francisco Rodriguez, but the Angels held on to beat the Texas Rangers 11-10 in 11 innings. Both offenses were out in full force tonight, but the Angels held a slight edge and used their notorious “small ball” to get the win. Maicer Izturis drove in Garret Anderson on a bloop single in the top of the 11th inning to seal the win and the series split for the Halos.

John Lackey struggled for the second straight start, giving up 6 runs on a career-high 15 hits in just 5.2 innings. Big John also gave up two home runs and raised his season ERA to 2.46. Lackey wasn’t the only Halo pitcher to struggle, however. Relievers Darren Oliver and Scot Shields both gave up 2 earned runs in 0.2 innings against a strong and very powerful Rangers offense. Closer Frankie Rodriguez had to work hard to earn his MLB-best 36th save of the season, but in the end, he still got it done, despite allowing two runners to reach base and committing his first throwing error of the season.

Angels hitters looked very comfortable in tonight’s game, especially Howie Kendrick. Howie hit two home runs and drove in 3 Angels tonight. Not only were those Kendrick’s first two homers of the season, but this also marked Howie’s first multi-homer game of his young career. Juan Rivera also continued to thrive in his new starting role. Rivera, who was the designated hitter tonight, went 3-5 and scored two runs in the Halo victory.

Top 3 Angels Performers:

1) As previously stated, Howie Kendrick earns top honors tonight for his offensive show. Howie went 3-5 with two home runs, a double and 3 RBIs. The hot-hitting second baseman hit his 19th double of the season and raised his batting average to a team-leading .328.

2) Erick Aybar went 2-4 with a triple and an RBI against the Rangers tonight. Aybar seems to be settling back into his role and looks to reclaim his spot as the team’s starting shortstop.

3) It was a toss-up between 3 players, but in the end, the last spot goes to Maicer Izturis. Izturis came off of the bench in the 11th inning as a pinch-hitter for Jeff Mathis and drove in the game-winning run on a bloop single to center field. Izturis once again proved his value to this team and his knack for clutch hitting.

Jeff Weaver of the Game: Tonight’s Jeff Weaver goes to Jeff Mathis. Mathis went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in tonight’s game .

Play of the Game: The play of the game goes to Izturis’ bloop single in the top of the 11th inning. There were a few great defensive gems by Casey Kotchman, but nothing really tops a game-winning hit, especially from a scrappy pinch-hitter.

What to look for next game: Jon Garland will go against newly acquired A’s pitcher Sean Gallagher. Gallagher was traded from the Cubs to the A’s in a deal earlier this week that sent Rich Harden to Chicago. Garland will look to build on recent success and turn his bad fortunes around against the Athletics. This year, Jon has gone 1-2 with a 5.21 ERA against the A’s. Also look for Juan Rivera to continue his recent hot streak. Rivera, in his last 5 games, has collected 6 hits, including 3 home runs, and has seen his batting average rise from .185 to .221

(Photo credit: Yahoo! Sports)