for this game

Izturis stays hot, Garland sharp as Angels win

Jun 8, 2008 - 5:30 AM By Al Barba PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Maicer Izturis homered, scored three runs and drove in a pair to lead the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night at McAfee Coliseum.

Izturis led off the game with a home run - his second in two nights - and Jon Garland struck out a season-high eight while allowing two runs in seven-plus innings as the Angels extended their season-high winning streak to seven games.

"I wasn't thinking home run," Izturis said. "I was just thinking hard contact. I was watching him warm up in the bullpen and I said to myself, if he throws me a first-pitch fastball, I'm going to jump on it."

Vladimir Guerrero and Rob Quinlan each added a sacrifice fly for Anaheim, which has won five straight road games. Francisco Rodriguez pitched through a rocky ninth inning to register his major league-leading 26th save.

Rodriguez allowed a leadoff home run to Jack Cust, and a double to Eric Chavez. However, he got a ground out from Mark Ellis, and sandwiched a walk between strikeouts of rookies Daric Barton and Carlos Gonzalez to end it.

Izturis gave the Angels a quick lead as he hit Greg Smith's first pitch of the game over the left-field wall for a home run. Izturis homered off Joe Blanton to open Friday night's series-opener.

The Angels' shortstop became the first major leaguer to lead off consecutive games with a home run since Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs accomplished the feat against the San Diego Padres on May 13 and 14. He also became the first switch-hitter to do so since Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies went deep from both sides of the plate in 2005.

Izturis joined Rex Hudler (1996) and Brian Downing (1987) as the only Angels to lead off consecutive games with home runs.

"He's been playing great baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Izturis, who is hitting.484 (15-for-31) during his season-high seven-game hitting streak. "You look at his numbers and it doesn't reflect how well he's done in the batter's box. He's really done a great job hitting the ball. He's had a lot of hard hits that haven't fallen in.

"Defensively, he has played terrific shortstop and that's the most important piece of the puzzle he's brought."

The victory was a welcome sight for Garland (6-3), who entered the night with a 3-9 record and 5.01 ERA in 15 career games against Oakland. The righthander had lost five straight games to the Athletics and was the losing pitcher in a 14-2 setback earlier this season.

"He's been the way we've seen him at his best when he was pitching with (the) Chicago (White Sox)," Scioscia said. "He had good downhill angle, good life on his fastball, sharp breaking pitch and really he's been able to change speeds."

The eight strikeouts were two shy of his career high and came as somewhat of a surprise to Garland. He had two five-strikeout games earlier this season.

"I have no answer to that question. It's a disappearing ball or something. I don't get it," Garland said.

Cust seemed to agree.

"It was like he was throwing invisi-balls. That was the fourth time I had faced him and that was the best stuff I'd seen him throw," Cust said. "It was really frustrating because I was swinging and saw the ball, but then I'd swing right through it. A lot of the guys were coming back to the dugout and saying the same thing."

Garland retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a one-out double to Gonzalez and hitting Kurt Suzuki with a pitch in the third inning. He then set down 10 in a row before surrendering an infield hit to Bobby Crosby in the seventh.

Smith (3-5) endured his second tough outing in a row as he allowed seven hits five runs - four earned - in 6 1/3 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.

The Angels built a 5-0 lead as they scored single runs in the third and fifth innings before tallying a pair in the seventh against Smith. Izturis was once again involved in the scoring as he plated Brandon Wood from third base on a fielder's choice while reaching safely.

After stealing second base, Izturis advanced to third on a single by Howie Kendrick and scored on a sacrifice fly by Guerrero. The Athletics finally broke through against Garland in the eighth when Barton singled to left to open the frame and scored on a two-run home run to left-center field by Travis Buck.

Gonzalez followed with a double to right-center field that ended the night for Garland. Jose Arredondo came out of the Angels' bullpen and he retired all three batters he faced before turning the game over to Rodriguez.








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

    BATTERIES: LAA - JON GARLAND, JOSE ARREDONDO (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH)
    AND JEFF MATHIS
    OAK - GREG SMITH, BRAD ZIEGLER (7TH), KEITH FOULKE
    (9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME

    Jun 7 11:44 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (11) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.222, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Angels 5, Athletics 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 7 11:33 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TRAVIS BUCK (3) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF JON GARLAND SCORED DARIC BARTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5, OAKLAND 2
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: C GONZALEZ (.214, 1-FOR-2)

    Angels 5, Athletics 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 7 11:15 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO SCORED MAICER IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H KENDRICK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: T HUNTER (.271, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Angels 5, Athletics 0  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 7 10:50 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED BRANDON WOOD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.338, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels 4, Athletics 0  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 7 10:45 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ROBB QUINLAN SCORED TORII HUNTER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: J RIVERA (.180, 1-FOR-2)

    Angels 3, Athletics 0  Top 6, 0 OutsJun 7 10:30 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY GREG SMITH ALLOWED MAICER IZTURIS TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    OAKLAND 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: T HUNTER (.272, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 2, Athletics 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJun 7 9:47 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LAA - JON GARLAND
    OAK - GREG SMITH

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.248, 3 HR, 22 RBI)
    B CROSBY (.264, 3 HR, 32 RBI)
    J CUST (.249, 10 HR, 25 RBI)

    Angels 1, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 7 9:15 PM