Yet another game that raises the blood pressure. Except this time, the Angels came out on top. It really isn’t fair to us, the fans, that C.J. Wilson finds it absolutely necessary to include at least one 30-pitch inning each time he takes the mound. Thankfully, I have enough tums on hand to survive both a C.J. start and a nuclear fallout. Preparation people. Preparation.
Two nights removed from a bullpen meltdown, and the day after a pitching staff implosion, the Angels again found themselves leading early. Howie Kendrick hit a two-out, solo home run in the second inning to kick off the scoring. The A’s would answer back in the fourth inning though when both Josh Donaldson and Nate Freiman hit run scoring doubles. That lead held up until the fifth inning, when J.B. Shuck singled home Josh Hamilton to tie the game up at two. The A’s went down in order in their half of the fifth, and in the sixth, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo both went deep to give the Angels a two-run cushion. Trumbo’s, by the way, was his third in as many days. Might be time to put American League pitchers on notice that the big man is heating up.
The Angels would score again in the eighth when Albert Pujols hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Mike Trout, and the A’s staged a mini rally in the eighth inning cutting the Angels lead to one run. But Mike Scioscia brought in Ernesto Frieri to calm down the uprising, and restore order as he earned a rare five-out save.
The offense once again put on a show as it had all of it’s tools on display. But, the story of the day was both Frieri and Michael Kohn. Frieri, of course, converted the aforementioned five-out save. Kohn, teamed up with Wilson in the sixth inning to set strike out the side. The young fireballer hasn’t been used much, but it would be in Scioscia’s best interest to ride a hot hand. Even though Kohn is currently sporting an ugly 5.29 ERA in 4.2 IP, he has yet to walk a hitter, and has struck out eight in that span. He’s always had the stuff to be a big league reliever, now might be the time that we actually get to see him fulfill his potential.
The Angels close the book on this putrid road trip, going a combined 2-5 against the A’s and Mariners. They return home tomorrow to start a mini home stand where the will host the Orioles for four games before heading back out onto the read. Game time is 7:05 PM PST and the Angels will send Joe Blanton to the hill to face Chris Tillman. Yes, Joe Blanton is starting tomorrow. No, I am not thrilled about this. It is possible, that I will be following this game while hiding under my blanket.