Anderson’s day is the lone bright spot

first_imgThe Indians won two of three against the Angels in an April series that was moved from Cleveland to Milwaukee because of snow. The Angels won two of three in a series at Anaheim in early May. The Angels have outscored the Indians this season, 24-19. “They’re a good team and they’re running out some good pitching out there in the starting rotation and the back end, too,” said Anderson, who otherwise downplayed this weekend’s series between two of the AL’s top teams. “It’s not really a surprise that they’re doing well. “We’re not thinking too far down the line, just more this weekend.” The Angels will prefer to forget about Wednesday. A misstep on the way to what looks like their third division title in the past four seasons can be forgiven. With the Seattle Mariners cooling off of late, the Angels had not lost ground in the division in 10 days. The defeat cut the Angels’ lead in the AL West to seven games (pending Seattle’s game at New York). The lead had been as low as one game on Sept. 25 after a defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays. Angels starter Joe Saunders (7-3) came out firing against the A’s, retiring the first eight batters with relative ease and only giving up his first hit to No. 9 hitter Donnie Murphy when right fielder Reggie Willits could not make the catch on a sinking line drive. The A’s were only getting started, and so was Murphy, who ended the day with a career-high three hits, including a home run in the seventh inning. Mark Ellis hurt Saunders the most, though, with a three-run homer in the fourth inning to erase the Angels’ early 2-0 lead. Saunders was removed after Murphy led off the seventh with his home run. “It was a struggle with my command today,” Saunders said. “Ellis hurt me on a so-so pitch and Murphy hit me on a bad pitch too so what are you going to do? It’s never not worrisome especially knowing that every game still counts and we have to still take care of business.” The home run for Ellis was his 17th, setting an A’s single-season record for a second baseman. “Yeah and two off me,” Saunders said. “The more I face him I’ll figure him out a little bit. He’s obviously figured me out. It’s a work in progress.” The Angels started fast with back-to-back singles from Willits and Orlando Cabrera in the first inning against A’s starter Joe Blanton (12-9). Vladimir Guerrero struck out, but Anderson continued his hot hitting with an easy single to right field to score Willits. Maicer Izturis drove in the only other Angels run on a sacrifice fly. Only Wally Joyner in 1986 and Fred Lynn in 1984 had delivered RBIs in 10 consecutive games while wearing an Angels uniform. Anderson has 27 RBIs in his last 15 games. ETC.: The long road to recovery finally had its reward Wednesday when Mike Napoli made his first appearance in a game since July 27. Napoli was a ninth-inning catching replacement for Ryan Budde, who was making his fifth career start. A strained right hamstring, suffered while sliding into second base, was only supposed to keep Napoli out of action for two weeks. doug.padilla@sgvn.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BASEBALL: Outfielder ties RBI mark, but Saunders, Angels fall to A’s. By Doug Padilla STAFF WRITER On a history-making day at Angel Stadium, there was still little to cheer about for the sun-baked home crowd. Garret Anderson tied the franchise record with an RBI in 10 consecutive games after a first inning single and then … nothing. There was hardly a reason to be delighted after that as the Oakland Athletics avoided a sweep with a 6-2 victory. The Angels are now 3-3 on the homestand with a major test still to come. Today should give more answers when it comes to the Angels’ playoff chances as the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians will be in town to start a four-game series. The two teams are potential first-round playoff opponents, though if the season ended today, the Angels would be matched up against the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series. Cleveland will send former Angel Paul Byrd – a 14-game winner – to the mound in the opener to face Angels 15-game winner Kelvim Escobar. “They have been on the brink for a while,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of the Indians. “This year they have broken through to show their potential. They are a tough club and we’ve had our hands full with them this year.” last_img read more