Seattle (39-63) at Los Angeles (55-48)

Fair Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 50° F
  • Game info: 4:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 31, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In early June, it looked like the Anaheim Angels made the right move when they signed right-hander Kelvim Escobar to a three-year, $18.75 million contract this past offseason.

The move hasn’t looked so good over the last six weeks.

Escobar will try to end a three-start losing streak and earn just his second victory since June 3 when the Angels continue a four-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners.

Escobar, who served as starter, setup man and closer during his first seven major league seasons with Toronto, was signed by the Angels to solidify their starting rotation. He did just that through the first 2 1/2 months of the season, going 4-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 12 starts.

However, Escobar has been a weak link in Anaheim’s rotation ever since, going 1-6 in 10 starts while watching his ERA rise to 4.15. He was reached for a season high-tying six runs and eight hits over 7 1-3 innings in Monday’s 6-1 home loss to Texas.

“Granted, he gave up six runs—but for me, he pitched a lot better than his line would indicate,” Angels pitching coach Bud Black said of Escobar.

Despite his extended skid, Escobar has yielded three earned runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts. However, the Angels’ offense has scored two runs or fewer five times during that stretch.

The Angels avenged Thursday’s 6-5, 13-inning loss by rallying past the Mariners for a 6-5 win of their own Friday. Bengie Molina came through with a two-run single in the eighth inning as Anaheim moved within three games of first-place Texas in the AL West.

The Angels are 2 1/2 games back of Oakland in the wild-card race.

Ichiro Suzuki, who matched a career high with five hits Thursday, went 0-for-4, ending his 21-game hitting streak.

The Mariners have lost 16 of their last 17 road games. They snapped a franchise-record 15-game road skid with Thursday’s victory.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Blackley Tex vs. K. Escobar NYM
1-3 Record 11-12
10.04 ERA 3.93
16 K 191
22 BB 76
2.19 WHIP 1.29