WE WIN! WE WIN! WE WIN! It’s only been two games since the last one, but it feels like an eternity with how brutal this year has been so far. Hopefully, Joe Blanton was taking notes on how to pitch to a Major League lineup in between peaks at the daily classifieds.
Ahhhh, the face of winning. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
After a first inning that was filled with some tension, both Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas settled in for what looked like a pitcher’s duel. Both starters traded zeroes like punches for the first three innings, but then that jerk, Billy Butler, struck again when his RBI double in the fourth inning got the scoring started. This team may want to update it’s scouting report on young Billy, he’s been hitting everything in sight so far this series. The Royals lead didn’t last long though. In the bottom half of the inning, Albert Pujols got the Angels on the board when he hit his sixth home run of the year to left field. Three batters later, Howie Kendrick got into the fun when he hit his sixth home run of the year to center field. From this point on, the Angels would not trail the Royals.
An inning later, back to back singles from J.B. Shuck and Erick Aybar set up Mike Trout with an opportunity to drive in a run. He came through when he lifted a sacrifice fly to Lorenzo Cain, bringing home Shuck. The Royals answered back in the sixth inning when that man, Billy Butler, did it again. Butler brought the Royals to within one when he hit his fifth home run off the year.In the bottom half of the sixth, an Angels answer came in the form of Josh Hamilton launching his fifth big fly (and first against a team not named the Houston Astros), giving the Angels a 4-2 lead. That lead was extended when Trout notched his second RBI of the game when he hit a monster home run to left center field, his seventh of the season.
The Angels would tack on another run in the eighth when the contact play worked for the first time in, like, ever. But the real story of today’s game was the stark contrast between pitching performances from last night to tonight.
For seven innings, Jason Vargas was in complete control of this game. He made two mistakes to Billy Butler, but Billy is locking in right now. Other than that, he struck out seven hitters, walked one, and only allowed the two runs. After last night’s abortion of a pitching performance from Joe Blanton, tonight’s performance was a welcome sight. Also of note, not including last nights implosion, the Angels bullpen has been surprisingly stellar of late, and tonight was no different as Dane De La Rosa, Scott Downs and one pitch from Ernesto Frieri combined to close the door on the Royals.
The Angels go for two-in-a-row tomorrow night at 7:05 PM PST as Barry Enright takes the ball opposite Wade Davis. Enright, of course, is still filling in for Tommy Hanson who is on the restricted list dealing with a family affair. Obviously, the reason for using Enright is because he is a bearded ginger. That Mike Scioscia, he’s so creative. Anyway, the Halo shines bright tonight, here’s to keeping it rolling.