Angels 9, Devil Rays 1
The Angels converted errors by infielders Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Brendan Harris into six unearned runs, Gary Matthews Jr. and Garret Anderson hit two-run doubles and Los Angeles routed the Devil Rays 9-1 Wednesday night.
“They cracked the door open a little bit and we took advantage of it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We got some hits with runners in scoring position, and that needs to continue.”
John Lackey (3-2) allowed a run and seven hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two. He is 7-1 against the Devil Rays.
Edwin Jackson (0-3) gave up six runs—three earned—and eight hits in six-plus innings for the Devil Rays, coming off a two-game sweep at home of the New York Yankees. Jackson flew to the West Coast ahead of his teammates in order to get rest.
“E.J. pitched really well enough to win, but the defense let us down tonight,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s our second game like that, where things just totally broke down on defense. We can’t make those mistakes. We gave them too many opportunities.”
Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead after Pena, the Devil Rays’ first baseman, misplayed Casey Kotchman’s slow bouncer in the hole leading off the fifth for an error.
“If I had to do it again, I would have probably stayed back on that ball and just played the long hop and tried to get the runner out,” Pena said. “I knew he was a fast runner, so maybe that had some influence. And B.J. was right behind me, so maybe he would have fielded it because it wasn’t that hard of a grounder. But you make decisions in the heat of the moment—and going after it was definitely not the right one.”
Shea Hillenbrand followed with a sharp infield single off Jackson’s right leg. Two outs later, Upton smothered Erick Aybar’s single to the right of second base and threw wildly past Pena for an error as Kotchman scored. Matthews followed with a double over center fielder Elijah Dukes.
“I felt like I pitched good enough to keep the team in the game, and that’s all you can do. The odds just weren’t in my favor this time,” Jackson said. “It’s always hard when you give a good team extra outs, but once the ball leaves your hand, you have no control over what happens.”
“John had to work hard to get to that point, and he had a couple of key moments where he made some really good pitches,” Scioscia said. “He’d thrown a lot of pitches in that inning to get out of that inning and keep the lead, so I felt it was time to make a change. They made John work for every out.”
The Angels chased Jackson during a six-run seventh with three consecutive hits, including an RBI double by Aybar on Jackson’s 100th and final pitch. Right-hander Juan Salas got Matthews to pop up to shortstop, but Harris dropped it for an error as Maicer Izturis scored.
Anderson doubled off the wall in right-center to drive in two more, and Shea Hillenbrand capped the inning with a two-run single against Ruddy Lugo— pitching for the first time in 11 days since giving up three runs and four hits in the seventh inning of a 12-5 loss at Minnesota on April 14. Lugo has allowed eight runs, 13 hits and five walks over 4 1-3 innings in his five appearances this season.
“Our challenge right now is to put this behind us, come back tomorrow with a renewed confidence and go at them aggressively as if nothing happened,” Pena said.
When Maddon was managing the Angels’ Double-A Midland club back in 1985, he had to give up uniform No. 20 after the organization acquired future Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton. Maddon found a No.70 jersey in his locker and kept it, figuring that no one would want it. Now it belongs to Brenton Del Chiaro, who replaced Tom Gregorio as Angels bullpen coach on Wednesday. Gregorio returned to his duties as roving minor league catching instructor. … Jackson struck out the side on 12 pitches in the third inning. … After the game, the Angels called up INF Brandon Wood from Triple-A Salt Lake and optioned 1B Kendry Morales to their Pacific Coast League club. OF/DH Juan Rivera, who broke his left leg playing winter ball, was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.