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Kotchman's walk-off single lifts Angels over Rangers

Jul 14, 2007 - 5:45 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Casey Kotchman drove in the winning run with a walk-off single as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim notched a 2-1 victory Friday over the Texas Rangers.

Kelvim Escobar pitched eight solid innings and Gary Matthews Jr. scored a run and plated another for the Angels, who got off on the right foot in the season's second half after dropping eight of 12 games before the All-Star break.

Matthews led off the ninth with a double to center field off reliever Joaquin Benoit (3-3). The Rangers then brought in lefthander Ron Mahay, who got Garret Anderson to ground out to second, moving Matthews to third.

"I just wanted to get on base any way I could to help the team," Matthews said.

Kotchman followed with a single to right field through a drawn-in infield to give Anaheim the win.

"Anytime you can get up in a situation with the game on the line and come through is big for me and the team," Kotchman said.

Francisco Rodriguez (3-2) pitched around a one-out walk in the top of the ninth to earn the win.

"Frankie came in and did a great job shutting them down and keeping them off the board to give us a chance to win it in the ninth," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Escobar dominated the Rangers for the second time in nine days and third time this season with eight innings of one-run ball. The Venezuelan hurler yielded six hits while striking out six and issuing just one walk.

"Escobar is tough because he can throw all of his pitches in the zone and you just never know what pitch is coming next," said Rangers right fielder Marlon Byrd, who went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

The veteran righthander, who just barely missed out on an All-Star berth, stymied Texas in his final start before the break on July 5, earning a win when he allowed one run and three hits in seven frames.

"I just know that they have an aggressive team, so I just try to mix up my pitches and make them swing at pitches out of the zone," Escobar said.

Escobar has not suffered a loss since May 31 against Baltimore.

"I feel good right now," he said. "I just try to go out and make my pitches and get outs. My mechanics feel really good right now and I hope I can keep pitching good and giving our team wins."

Rangers starter Kevin Millwood matched Escobar through the first seven innings, allowing one run and five hits while striking out seven and walking three. It marked the righthander's fifth straight solid outing as he posted a 3-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in his previous four starts.

"I've just got to continue my recent success," Millwood said. "I did feel tired after the seventh, but I felt like I pitched a good game."

Millwood's recent success comes on the heels of an injury-plagued start to the season that saw his ERA rise as high as 7.57 after an embarrassing loss on June 6 against Detroit. The veteran's resurgence has been one of the keys to the last-place Rangers' run of seven straight series without a loss over the past month.

"I'm just a lot healthier right now and I've been working harder in the bullpen between starts, which has helped me," Millwood said. "I wanted to come out of the game with the lead, but at least I gave us a chance to win."

The Angels got on the board in the fourth, when Orlando Cabrera knocked a single to left - the first hit of the night off Millwood - and moved to second on Vladimir Guerrero's infield hit. Matthews drove Cabrera home with Anaheim's third straight single.

Texas even the contest in the fifth, when Gerald Laird hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on Ramon Vazquez's single.








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - KEVIN MILLWOOD, JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH), RON MAHAY (9TH) AND
    GERALD LAIRD
    LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND
    JOSE MOLINA

    HOME RUNS: TEX - NON

    Jul 14 12:45 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CASEY KOTCHMAN SCORED GARY MATTHEWS JR.
    FINAL SCORE: LA ANGELS 2, TEXAS 1

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 14 12:45 AM
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    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 14 12:45 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 14 12:21 AM
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    joestilwell Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 13 11:20 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RAMON VAZQUEZ SCORED GERALD LAIRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R VAZQUEZ ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    LA ANGELS 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: K LOFTON (.299, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 13 11:20 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GARY MATTHEWS JR SCORED ORLANDO CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G MATTHEWS JR ON FIRST, V GUERRERO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    LA ANGELS 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.285, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers vs. AngelsJul 13 11:11 PM
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