for this game

Aybar, Angels too strong for Phillies

Jun 22, 2008 - 3:41 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After spending significant time on the disabled list, Erick Aybar came off the bench to help the Los Angeles Angels to victory.

Aybar snapped a tie with a two-out, two-run home run and Vladimir Guerrero hit two solo shots as the Angels handed the Philadelphia Phillies their fourth straight loss with a 6-2 win in interleague play on Saturday.

Aybar had been on the disabled list since May 21 after suffering a dislocated finger and missed 25 games before being activated on June 18. Aybar entered the game after starting shortstop Maicer Izturis left after the second inning because of tightness in his right hamstring.

"Erick was playing great baseball before he was injured," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have a lot of confidence in what he can do both on the defensive end and at the offensive end. A good day for Erick to come off the bench and get a big hit for us."

The game was tied, 2-2, in the eighth before Chone Figgins singled with two outs. Aybar then lined an 0-1 pitch from Brett Myers just inside the right field foul pole for his second home run of the season that gave the Angels a 4-2 lead.

"My finger feels good right now," Aybar said. "I felt good when I hit the two-run homer that helped us win the game. I hit a changeup and thought it had a chance to go."

Myers felt he made a good pitch to Aybar, using a split-finger down in the strike zone.

"I didn't feel like the pitch to Aybar was that bad of a pitch," Myers said. "I hadn't thrown my split all night and he kept his hands back and kept it fair. I thought it was down, (but) he's an aggressive hitter."

The Angels added two unearned insurance runs in the ninth and Francisco Rodriguez came on with two on and none out in the bottom half of the frame to notch his 29th save of the season.

The homer made a winner of Joe Saunders (11-3), who joined Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians as the only 11-game winners in the American League. Saunders went seven strong innings and allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

"The key to my success is being aggressive and throwing strikes and getting deep into games," Saunders said. "Pitching to contact and not worrying about whether they hit the ball. Let my defense play behind me."

Los Angeles was leading 2-0 and Saunders had retired 19 of the first 22 batters he faced, including the first two outs in the seventh before surrendering a solo home run to Jayson Werth to straight-away center. After Chris Coste walked, Pedro Feliz scored him with a double to the contest, 2-2.

"I threw one up and away to Werth and he hurt me on it," Saunders said. "I never faced him before, but I knew he had some power."

Saunders escaped further trouble when Eric Bruntlett followed with a single, but thinking that Feliz would try and score, was thrown out trying to take second. That ended the inning as Bruntlett failed to notice Feliz had stopped at third.

"I thought a key play was on the base hit by Bruntlett when (first baseman) Casey Kotchman was able to cut that (relay throw) and get that out at second and kill that inning right there," Scioscia said.

Bruntlett started at second base in place of Chase Utley, who is mired in an 0-for-23 slump and was given the night off.

Myers (3-9) had allowed 11 runs in his previous two outings, but pitched better from the outset in this one. The righthander went 7 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"I felt like I threw the ball well tonight," Myers said. "I made that mistake in the eighth inning that obviously hurt."

Guerrero broke up a scoreless contest in the fourth inning to give the Angels a 1-0 lead. With one out, Guerrero went down in the strike zone and drove an 0-1 pitch from Myers into the left field seats.

Guerrero then hit Myers' first pitch of the seventh over the left field fence for his 13th home run of the season to make it, 2-0. The blast gave Guerrero his 35th career multi-home run game and was also his 31st career homer against the Phillies.

The three home runs allowed by Myers gave him a major league-leading 23 surrendered on the season.

"I wasn't too irritated about the two homers to Guerrero, because they were solo (shots), but the one in the eighth pretty much put the nail in the coffin," Myers said.








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

    BATTERIES: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS, SCOT SHIELDS (8TH), JOSE ARREDONDO (9TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND JEFF MATHIS
    PHI - BRETT MYERS, J.C. ROMERO (8TH), CHAD DURBIN (9TH)
    AND

    Jun 21 9:43 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHONE FIGGINS SCORED JEFF MATHIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C FIGGINS ON FIRST, J RIVERA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 6
    PHILADELPHIA 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: E AYBAR (.270, 1-FOR-3, HR, 2 RBI)

    Angels 6, Phillies 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 21 9:25 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JUAN RIVERA SCORED GARY MATTHEWS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J RIVERA ON FIRST, J MATHIS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    PHILADELPHIA 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C FIGGINS (.306, 2-FOR-4)

    Angels 5, Phillies 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 21 9:23 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ERICK AYBAR (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF BRETT MYERS SCORED CHONE FIGGINS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.257, 0-FOR-3)

    Angels 4, Phillies 2  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 21 8:50 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 76 roots

    Angels 4, Phillies 2  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 21 8:50 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY PEDRO FELIZ SCORED CHRIS COSTE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, P FELIZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: E BRUNTLETT (.246, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Phillies 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:41 PM
  • 76
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 41 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 2, Phillies 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:41 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JAYSON WERTH (10) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF JOE SAUNDERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2, PHILADELPHIA 1
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C COSTE (.310, 1-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Phillies 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:36 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 2, Phillies 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:36 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO (13) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF BRETT MYERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.301, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 2, Phillies 0  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 21 8:24 PM


  • ML
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO (12) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF BRETT MYERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.302, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 1, Phillies 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 21 7:46 PM