for this game

Escobar finds early-season form, downs Athletics

Sep 29, 2007 - 11:52 PM By Tom Kent PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) - Kelvim Escobar may have recaptured his first half form just in time.

Escobar pitched six effective innings and Juan Rivera, Jeff Mathis and Erick Aybar drove in a run apiece for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on their way to defeating the Oakland Athletics, 3-2, on Saturday.

Escobar (18-7), who will be the Angels' No. 2 starter against the Boston Red Sox in next week's American League Division Series, entered with a career-high 17 wins. However, he has faltered down the stretch, posting a 10.19 ERA in his last four starts.

After allowing six runs and eight hits in four innings in his last start against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on September 17, Escobar missed his next start due to an inflamed right shoulder.

"Kelvim's last handful of starts weren't as crisp for him as in the beginning of the year," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think we just needed to let him catch his breath a little."

However, the 30-year-old righthander seemed back in sync against Oakland, yielding just one run and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Despite his recent struggles, he won his third straight decision, throwing 57 of his 92 pitches for strikes.

"The most important thing is that my shoulder feels good," Escobar said. "It was almost like spring training today when you're getting ready for the season. This time, I was getting my focus and getting ready for the postseason. It felt good."

With the game tied 1-1 in the fourth inning, Howie Kendrick singled and Robb Quinlan followed with a double down the right field line off Oakland reliever Lenny DiNardo (8-10). Mathis added an RBI sacrifice fly to center field and Aybar plated Quinlan from third base with an infield single to give Anaheim a 3-1 advantage.

Bartolo Colon, who was making his first relief appearance since September 27, 1997, pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Reliever Scot Shields surrendered a run in the eighth before handing over the ninth to closer Francisco Rodriguez, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 40th save in 46 chances.

"We've looked at a couple of scenarios," Scioscia said of Colon's postseason status. "I'm ruling him out as a starter, but we want to look at him coming out of the (bull)pen if necessary as well."

"It would be great," Escobar said of Colon's potential bullpen role. "He's pitched a long time, and you can't have enough starting pitching in the playoffs."

The Athletics fell to season-high 11 games under .500 and 19 games behind the first-place Angels in the American League West Division. It is Oakland's largest deficit in the division since finishing 25 games behind the Seattle Mariners in 1997.






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    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 8:17 PM


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

    BATTERIES: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, BARTOLO COLON (7TH), SCOT SHIELDS (8TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND JEFF MATHIS
    OAK - DALLAS BRADEN, LENNY DINARDO (4TH), RUDDY LUGO
    (8TH)

    Sep 29 6:28 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 6:16 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAN JOHNSON SCORED DARIC BARTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D JOHNSON ON FIRST, K THOMPSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.281, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 6:14 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ERICK AYBAR SCORED ROBB QUINLAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E AYBAR ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: B WOOD (.185, 1-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 5:03 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JEFF MATHIS SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R QUINLAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: E AYBAR (.241, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 5:03 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK SWISHER SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N SWISHER ON FIRST, D BARTON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.256, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 4:53 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR
    OAK - DALLAS BRADEN

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.289, 12 HR, 48 RBI)
    D BARTON (.344, 3 HR, 7 RBI)
    N SWISHER (.261, 22 HR, 76 RBI)

    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 29 4:14 PM
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    Angels vs. AthleticsSep 28 9:46 PM