Angels 5 Athletics 11
A three game skid, perpetrated by the lowly Cleveland Indians. A plane ride to the West Coast to face the lowly Athletics. Desperation brought on by opponents that are supposed to be beneath us. Fighting for their lives against the A's, and still not getting the job done. "Hang on to your hopes, my friend."
Hector Santiago continued to morph into our long gestating, regressive fears as he gave up five earned runs in the third. Just 2.2 IP on the day, and that was all it took for Santiago to start the fire. To make matters worse, he had lead going into the dreaded side. In the first, Erick Aybar had singled in Mike Trout, and in the top of the third, Aybar drove in a run on a sac fly. Next, in what was the most unexpected play of the season, C.J. Cron and Shane Victorino on the corners, the Angels pulled off a double steal. Victorino took home and C.J. friggin' Cron scored at home. The Angels had a 3-0 lead, but it would be short lived.
Hector was brutal. Doubles from Danny Valencia and Jason Smolinski in that damned third inning put five on the board for the A's, and they'd never look back at that point. They turned that newly acquired 5-3 lead into a 6-3 score in the fifth, with another Danny Valencia double. Then in the sixth, with Jose Alvarez pitching, Mark Canha hit a three-run homer, and ran the night's tab up to 9-3.
Not only was an early lead squandered, but some good runs and hits in general were squandered and thrown away all game long. The Angels got some things going in the later innings, eventually making things closer on an Albert Pujols RBI single in the seventh, and a Rated Rookie RBI single from Kaleb Cowart in the eighth. It was five runs for the Halos, and many other sad, frustrating days...that would have gotten the job done. Nope. Not with tonight's pitching.
In fact, in the bottom of the eighth, Cesar Ramos erased any upswing the Angels offense might have been experiencing and let the Athletics run the score up to 11-5. Their fourth loss in a row; a valiant effort, perhaps much moreso than the previous series. But the result is the same, so what is it worth that Erick Aybar had a nice game, as did youngster Kaleb Cowart. If there was any other silver lining, I would say that at least the Rangers, Blue Jays and Yankees lost. Minnesota did not play.
The team has now fall under .500, and the memories of July turn into hazy shades of September. "Hang on to your hopes, my friend."