for this game

Escobar wins 10th as Angels top Rangers

Jul 6, 2007 - 5:29 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Kelvim Escobar might not be going to next week's All-Star Game, but he has been providing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with All-Star-caliber pitching.

Escobar pitched seven strong innings Thursday, allowing just one run and three hits while striking out eight to notch his 10th win of the season and lead the Angels to a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

The Angels, who occupy first place in the American League West Division, won for just the third time in their last nine games and avoided being swept of a series by the Rangers for the first time since September 2001. Texas posted triumphs behind Kevin Millwood and Jamey Wright in the first two games of the three-game set.

Left off the AL All-Star team, Escobar (10-3) surrendered one run and two hits in the first inning but did not allow another hit until the sixth, when Ramon Vazquez hit a ball that skipped past right fielder Vladimir Guerrero's glove and rolled to the wall for a triple.

"I never worry about things out of my hands. I went out there and pitched good because we need this game after losing two games," Escobar said, insisting he had no extra motivation despite believing he should have been selected.

Escobar did point out that he already has decided he will not go to the All-Star Game if chosen as an injury replacement.

"No, I don't think I'm going, I have plans," he said. "If they call me to go, I'm not going, they will have to find somebody else, no offense (to them if asked), I made a good case. I'm not disappointed. Take a look, the guys that compete with me for the last spot, I think I had a better ERA, a lot of innings pitched, I had good numbers. I'm not disappointed, fans were the ones to choose the last player. I did what I could control, the rest I can't do anything about."

Escobar walked three in winning his fourth consecutive decision and improving to 4-8 lifetime against Texas.

"I had a good fastball tonight, especially with my command," Escobar said. "So I was able to get ahead, and when I fell behind, I was able to change the speed. That always makes it tough on the hitters, and I feel that was the key. I threw a lot of fastballs and I was able to get batters with one or two pitches. I felt great tonight."

"He did a great job of getting into some good counts early," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think after the first inning, his command really improved, used his fastball very effectively and put guys away. Outside of a couple of pitches, which I think early he was kind of searching for, he pitched a terrific ballgame and shut down a lineup that has been scoring a lot of runs."

Robinson Tejeda (5-8) took the loss, giving up four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, which actually was an improvement over his recent outings. Tejeda was 1-4 with a 9.51 ERA, including 29 walks and nine home runs allowed, in his previous eight starts.

"Tonight, I felt more confident on the mound," said Tejeda, who walked three to raise his season total to 49 - third in the AL. "I was attacking early and hit the strike zone and also working with my breaking pitch. My changeup was working very well tonight, also my slider and I got pretty good control of my fastball, too. I feel much better and if I continue pitching like that, I think I can win more games."

"I thought Robbie battled well, he hung in there," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We just didn't score enough runs to keep up."

Maicer Izturis had two hits and two RBI for Anaheim, while Garret Anderson, Gary Matthews Jr. and Guerrero also collected two hits.

Tejeda had allowed just one hit after the first inning before running into trouble in the fifth. Anderson led off with a bloop single into shallow left field and Izturis lined a shot into left-center, just out of the reach of leaping shortstop Michael Young.

With runners at second and third and none out, Jose Molina singled to right to score Anderson. Reggie Willits followed with a sacrifice fly to center that plated Izturis for a 3-1 lead.

The Angels added a pair of runs an inning later. With one out, Tejeda walked both Matthews and Casey Kotchman before being replaced by Ron Mahay.

"I thought he was doing a pretty good job," Washington said of Tejeda, who still leads Texas in wins with five. "He was facing a pretty good guy over there, too. He had to match his zeros, and up until the sixth inning, when he had those back-to-back walks, I thought he was doing a pretty good job. It's very encouraging. He was throwing the ball in the strike zone, he was keeping the ball in play. He's turned the corner, as far as I'm concerned. He kept us in the game, that's all you can ask for."

After Matthews was thrown out trying to steal third, Anderson blooped another single into shallow left and Izturis drilled a shot down the first base line for a two-run triple.

Scioscia was happy to get such production from the bottom of his batting order.

"We have to have a lineup that is full to be able to pressure clubs every inning," Scioscia said. "The top of our lineup was doing it for a long time, middle was doing their part, and even down below, we had that chemistry tonight. The bottom of the linupe really came through."

The Angels opened the scoring in the first inning, when a line drive up the middle by Rangers nemesis Guerrero scored Orlando Cabrera, who reached on a two-out walk, stole second and moved to third on catcher Gerald Laird's throwing error.

Matthews followed with a double off the right field wall, but Tejeda struck out Kotchman to end the inning, limiting the damage.

Texas, which lost for just the fifth time in its last 15 games, responded in the bottom of the inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. led off with a double to left, advanced to third on a sacrifice by Vazquez and scored on Young's single up the middle.

"With Escobar, he's learning that less is more," Hairston said. "Normally, he throws 97-98 (miles per hour) if he wants to, but now he's throwing 93-94 with movement. And obviously, he mixing all his pitches. He's definitely one of the top three or four pitchers in baseball. He was on his stuff."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 5 10 0
    TEXAS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, SCOT SHIELDS (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH)
    AND JOSE MOLINA
    TEX - ROBINSON TEJEDA, RON MAHAY (6TH) AND GERALD LAIRD

    HOME RUNS: LAA - NONE


    Jul 5 11:30 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: B WILKERSON (.231, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 11:28 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN AND GARRET
    ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M IZTURIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J MOLINA (.235, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 10:21 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY REGGIE WILLITS SCORED MAICER IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J MOLINA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C FIGGINS (.318, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE MOLINA SCORED GARRET ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MOLINA ON FIRST, M IZTURIS ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: R WILLITS (.323, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 9:49 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED JERRY HAIRSTON JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: S SOSA (.251, 14 HR, 63 RBI)

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 8:54 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 1 1 2 0
    TEXAS 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR
    TEX - ROBINSON TEJEDA

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J HAIRSTON JR (.232, 3 HR, 10 RBI)
    R VAZQUEZ (.248, 4 HR, 12 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.292, 4

    Angels vs. RangersJul 5 8:49 PM