Angels 6, Cardinals 5

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Erick Aybar singled with one out in the ninth inning, capping a three-run rally and lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.
Edward Mujica, who entered the game in search of his 22nd save in 22 save opportunities, blew the save and took the loss.
Josh Hamilton was the big spoiler, hitting a first-pitch, two-run home run off Mujica (0-1) to center field to tie the score. Albert Pujols started the inning with a single off of Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.
Howie Kendrick followed Hamilton's homer with a single, and Mark Trumbo's hit moved Kendrick to third. After Mujica retired the next two batters, Aybar's base hit to left ended the game.
Scott Downs (2-2) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record the win.
St. Louis took a 4-3 lead on Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, and the Cardinals added an unearned run in the sixth.
Angels starter Joe Blanton was in line to pick up his 11th loss in 13 decisions this year, but he was saved from that fate. Blanton was in a groove early, recording five strikeouts through three shutout innings. He wasn't nearly as effective, however, during the Cardinals' second trip through the batting order.
With Los Angeles ahead 2-0, Carlos Beltran singled to start the fourth inning, and Matt Holliday followed with a walk. Allen Craig then gave the Cardinals their first lead with a three-run home run to center.
The Angels countered with Mark Trumbo's 19th home run of the season in the fourth inning to tie the score at 3.
Carpenter broke the tie in the fifth. In the sixth, a two-out error by Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo kept the inning alive. Trumbo mishandled Matt Adams' grounder, and David Freese followed with a single. Another single, this one by Daniel Descalso, scored Adams with the insurance run and ended Blanton's night. Blanton allowed five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
The Angels jumped on top 2-0 thanks to Mike Trout's two-run single in the third.
NOTES: Cardinals SS Pete Kozma hasn't had a hit in five games (0-for-7) so he sat out Thursday's contest. Manager Mike Matheny wants him to take a couple of days to work on his swing before returning to his spot. ... Craig, who was born in nearby Mission Viejo, went 5-for-9 in the three-game series. ... Though Blanton was 1-2 with two no-decisions last month, June was by far his best month of the season. He logged 40 strikeouts while walking only five batters in June. ... RHP Michael Kohn, who missed the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, has not allowed a run in 22 of his past 24 appearances. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday.

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