Angels 3, Dodgers 1
He was the right man for the job Saturday.
Figgins drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning double, and the Angels beat the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 for their fifth win in six games.
“It’s not just the RBI guys who drive the guys in,” the 5-foot-7 Figgins said with a smile.
The Angels won without star outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, the reigning AL MVP who will be sidelined at least two weeks due to a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
“We still have to keep playing,” Figgins said. “It’s tough to go through 162 games, it’s really hard to have everybody out there healthy—especially the way we play the game. We play the game hard.
“We’re going to keep playing and hope everything’s OK with him.”
Guerrero, hitting .303 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 41 games, was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Jose Molina singled off Giovanni Carrara (4-1) to open the eighth and was forced at second base on Dallas McPherson’s bunt. McPherson took second on a wild pitch and scored on Figgins’ liner inside first, giving the Angels a 2-1 lead.
Darin Erstad was intentionally walked before Jeff DaVanon drew another walk to load the bases. Steve Finley greeted reliever Kelly Wunsch with a run-scoring single before Duaner Sanchez pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
Guerrero was injured in the fifth inning of Friday night’s 9-0 victory while sliding into home and trying to avoid the tag of Dodgers catcher Jason Phillips.
Guerrero underwent X-rays Saturday and was examined by team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum.
“Who knows? He might be ready in a week, even if we can’t play him that soon,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re not sure right now. Based on what we saw this morning, we’re very encouraged. He can play with pain; when he goes down like that, you know it’s significant.”
Yocum said an MRI will be performed Monday or Tuesday—after the swelling in Guerrero’s non-throwing shoulder goes down.
The Angels also played without cleanup hitter Garret Anderson, who missed his third game because of a tight right hamstring.
“I’m just going out there no matter what inning I’m pitching and trying to get the first guy out,” Shields said. “If we’re going to go anywhere this season, we need (Rodriguez) closing the game out.”
Rodriguez said afterward he still wasn’t ready to pitch because of a strained right forearm that has sidelined him for a week.
The loss was the sixth in seven games for the Dodgers, who are 10-18 since winning 12 of their first 14.
“Things aren’t going our way right now, but it will come around,” said Brad Penny who allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. “We’re playing bad right now, but this team’s too good not to be good.”
A team meeting was held before the game. Outfielder Ricky Ledee said manager Jim Tracy was the only person who spoke, but wouldn’t elaborate.
“Somebody needed to say something,” Penny said.
Molina hit his third homer in the third to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers tied it off John Lackey in the seventh on a leadoff double by Milton Bradley, a wild pitch, and a one-out, RBI single by Antonio Perez. Donnelly gave up a single to Paul Bako to put runners at first and third before striking out pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz and retiring Cesar Izturis on a fly to left.
That was the only run the Dodgers have scored in 20 innings.
“Where we stand right now, I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of juggling that you can do to the lineup with the rut that we’re in,” Tracy said.
Lackey allowed five hits and one run in 6 1-3 innings. He walked one and matched his career high with 10 strikeouts—including five in a row and nine of 11 between the third and six innings.
Lackey has a 2.37 ERA in his last six starts, lowering his overall ERA from 8.22 to 4.05.
The game was played before a crowd of 53,631—the ninth sellout at Dodger Stadium this season. The Dodgers surpassed the one million mark in attendance in their 22nd home game and are averaging nearly 47,000 fans per game—most in the majors. … Angels RHP Kelvim Escobar, sidelined because of a bone spur in his pitching elbow, said he’s on track to start next Saturday against Kansas City. … Perez, usually a second baseman, made his fourth career start at third and first since July 25, 2003, when he was playing for Tampa Bay. He became the sixth Dodger to start at third in 42 games. … The Angels recalled OF Curtis Pride from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Guerrero on the roster.