3 up, 3 down: Athletics 3, Angels 1
September, 10, 2012
By Blair Angulo, Special to ESPNLosAngeles.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Dan Haren turned in his third consecutive quality start Monday night, but it wasn't enough as the Los Angeles Angels dropped the opener of an important four-game series against the wild card-leading Oakland Athletics, 3-1.
Haren surrendered three runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings but absorbed his 11th loss of the season. The Angels' six-game winning streak was snapped.
Two-out rally: It's become rather normal and expected for Mike Trout to jump-start the offense when there appears to be nothing brewing. Trout drew a five-pitch walk with two outs in the third inning, stole second base, advanced to third on an errant throw and scored on Torii Hunter's double to right. It was Trout's rookie season in a nutshell.
Who's on first: Usually a designated hitter, Kendrys Morales made only his 19th start at first base and handled himself well on a tricky play in the fifth. With Josh Donaldson on first and one out, Morales fielded a Stephen Drew grounder, stepped on the bag and seemed prepared to fire to second, but he held onto the ball instead and caught Donaldson in a rundown for the unassisted double play. It was nifty, especially for a player who doesn't see the field much.
Bullpen: Relievers Nick Maronde, Jason Isringhausen, LaTroy Hawkins and Jordan Walden combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings, keeping the A's at three runs and providing the Angels bats some time to wake up. The alarm clock never rang, however, as the Angels managed only one hit in the final five innings.
Where art thou, Monkey: The Angel Stadium video board engineer hasn't stopped playing the popular Rally Monkey snippets, promising those in attendance that if they make enough noise a rally will magically appear. Well, the Angels continued to struggle in late-game situations Monday. They are now 3-52 when trailing after seven innings.
Long ball returns: Haren had not allowed a home run since Aug. 16 -- a span of 23 1/3 innings -- before Brandon Moss launched a towering blast into the right-field pavilion in the fifth inning. Weak-hitting Cliff Pennington then tagged Haren for a leadoff homer in the sixth to give the A's a two-run cushion.
Baffled by a rook: Though the Angels had beaten Athletics pitcher Jarrod Parker twice in three earlier matchups this year, they hadn't really solved the rookie right-hander. In May, the Angels managed only one run in seven innings against Parker; in August they got four in 6 2/3 innings; and they scored just two in seven frames last week. He held his own again Monday.