A clutch homerun by Gary Matthews Jr. broke open a tight ball game and a late bomb by Howie Kendrick made it a laugher as the Angels beat the Rays Wednesday to complete a three game sweep of one of baseball's best offenses.
Pitcher Trevor Bell, making his major league debut allowed four runs in 5 and one-third innings. After a blown call at 2B in the top of the 4th allowed Evan Longoria to remain there after he had clearly been tagged out by Erick Aybar, Carlos Peña hit a two-run homer on the very next pitch. Peña would homer later in the game off of the rookie.
But Bell's line of 5.1, 9 H, 4 ER and 4 Ks versus 1 BB looked great considering he was facing one of baseball's top offenses and was pitching on a day when the ball was flying off of the bats in the dry sunny So Cal afternoon. Manager Mike Scioscia has already indicated that Bell will remain in the rotation.
Darren Oliver inherited a tight situation from Jason Bulger in the 7th inning with a man on 2nd and nobody out. Oliver struck out Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist (intentionally walking Longoria in between) and then got Peña to hit a long fly ball to RF. Bobby Abreu battled the high desert sun better than Carl Crawford earlier in the game - Whike Abreu made the catch after a quick pedal to his right, Crawford lost a mile high 4th inning popup by Mike Napoli that was ruled a triple.
Panther of the Game
Gary Matthews Jr. (276 votes)
Darren Oliver (32 votes)
Howie Kendrick (85 votes)
393 total votes