Escobar helps Angels snap losing skidJul 19, 2007 - 8:08 PM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Kelvim Escobar pitched brilliantly into the eighth inning and Garret Anderson drove in a pair of runs as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 3-0, on Thursday.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Angels, who salvaged the finale of this three-game series.
"Kelvim's been there for us all year. He just keeps going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's great to see him healthy. As aggressive as he is in the strike zone, it's leading to results. I thought he did a great job creating depth today, changed speeds well. He really had to work to get out of the first two innings but he came up with some big pitches."
It was the first time Tampa Bay was shut out since being blanked by the San Diego Padres, 9-0, on June 13.
"The second half of our season is very tough," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "I think when you're playing to the level of competition that's that good, it raises your play as well. Overall, I think it's been a relatively good start to the second half."
Escobar (11-3) tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering nine hits while walking three and striking out five. The righthander worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by getting All-Star Carl Crawford to ground into an inning-ending forceout.
"Early on my ball was cutting too much," Escobar said. "It was my fault (that catcher Jeff Mathis) was having problems catching the ball. For some reason he was calling down and away and the ball was cutting inside. We talked about getting more on top of the ball, and in the second I was throwing straighter."
Crawford finished with three hits and two stolen bases for the Devil Rays, who stranded nine baserunners. Crawford now leads the American League with 30 steals this season.
The Devil Rays also had a pair of runners in scoring position in the sixth. But Escobar bore down and struck out Ty Wigginton before inducing Raul Casanova to ground out to end the threat.
Scot Shields relieved Escobar with two outs in the eighth after Delmon Young doubled. The righthanded Shields got Greg Norton to ground out to second to end the inning.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth, recording his 25th save in 27 chances.
Anderson hit a two-run single off Devil Rays rookie starter Andy Sonnanstine in the sixth to put the Angels ahead, 3-0. Vladimir Guerrero singled and Gary Matthews Jr. followed with a double, setting the stage for Anderson.
The run scored by Guerrero was the 1,000th of his career.
"It was something out over the plate," Anderson said. "I don't know if if it was off-speed or a fastball. I just have to play some more. Not playing yesterday, I'm the type of player that needs to play every day. Having a day off was not good for me. The first time I came back from injury, I came back pretty quick. It's a little different this time around."
The Angels opened the scoring against Sonnanstine in the second inning. Casey Kotchman doubled to right field and scored two batters later when Robb Quinlan grounded out to shortstop.
"On the offensive side again, we struggled," Scoscia said. "We scratched and clawed on the first run. Obviously it had some importance. Garret's hit gave us a bit of a cushion. We're still trying to unlock some things with the offense. We got some good situational hitting today and if we can do that we can take some of the pressure off the pitchers."
Sonnanstine (1-5) remained winless over his last six starts. The righthander logged seven innings, allowing three runs and eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
LA ANGELS 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 10 0
TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, SCOT SHIELDS (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH)
AND JEFF MATHIS
TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, GARY GLOVER (8TH), BRIAN STOKES
(9TH) AND RAUL CASANOVA
Jul 19 2:52 PM
AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY GARRET ANDERSON SCORED VLADIMIR GUERRERO AND GARY
SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G ANDERSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 6TH
DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.293, 1-FOR-2)
Angels vs. RaysJul 19 2:01 PM
AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
GROUND OUT BY ROBB QUINLAN SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
TAMPA BAY 0 TOP, 2ND
DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J MATHIS (.100, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Angels vs. RaysJul 19 12:43 PM
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