Ernesto Frieri Blows Three-Run Lead, Angels Lose on Walk-Off

By Jose Serrano

Apr 23, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) celebrates with shortstop Ian Desmond (20) after scoring the game winning run against the Los Angeles Angels at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated Los Angeles Angels 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Confidence in the Angels’ dugout couldn’t have been higher entering the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night. A home run, walk, single, and RBI double later, all the momentum build over the last two games disappeared.

Ernesto Frieri blew his second save of the season and void Jered Weaver of his second victory in a 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. With the win, the Angels would have been over .500 for the first time since Opening Day 2013.

A 3-1 Halo lead entering the ninth, David Freese led off with a walk. He reach second on Adam LaRoche’s error and made a break for third on breaking ball that got away from catcher Jose Lobaton. Freese was picked off at third on a play that would prove costly later on.

Mike Trout added an RBI single that scored Raul Ibanez from second, giving Frieri wiggle room entering the bottom of the frame. Trout, along with Albert Pujols, were 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk and run scored.

The Nationals suffocated Frieri in all of his 25 pitches. Lobaton led off with a home run, followed by a Denard Span single and Anthony Rendon walk. Angels manager Mike Scioscia cautiously stuck with Frieri and send Mike Butcher to speak with the closer. Jayson Werth watched three fastballs miss the plate before smashing the fourth down the right field line, tying the game.

Fernando Salas replaced Frieri, but the damage was done. Salas’ first pitch sailed into a gap in left-center field and the Nationals walked away with a win. Frieri gets the loss and raises his ERA to 9.35

The loss ruins Weaver’s most impressive outing to date. He scattered seven hits and only allowed one run, an RBI single in the second inning. It’s the second time the Angels bullpen has let a Weaver victory slip away, the first being on Opening Day when relievers allowed Seattle eight runs in the final three innings.