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Errors lead to 3-2 loss to A's

September 18, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

OAKLAND -- No strangers to bizarre endings at McAfee Coliseum, the Angels committed two errors in an ugly ninth inning of a 3-2 loss to Oakland on Wednesday night, with closer Francisco Rodriguez blowing a chance for his 59th save.

Trailing, 1-0, Garret Anderson led off the ninth with a single against closer Brad Ziegler. Mark Teixeira lined a two-run home run to right field to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. It was the first home run Ziegler has given up as a professional since Sept. 3, 2006, when he was at double-A Midland.

But Daric Barton led off the bottom of the inning with a single to center field and took second when the throw from Gary Matthews Jr. bounced past second baseman Sean Rodriguez and shortstop Brandon Wood and rolled almost to the plate for an error.

Jack Hannahan walked. Cliff Pennington squared to bunt, then pulled back and swung away, hitting a chopper high off the plate that Rodriguez fielded and threw into foul territory in right field, allowing two runs to score.

Manager Mike Scioscia called the final mistake an "error of aggression" but fumed about the first error, a routine throw that got by two infielders and Francisco Rodriguez, who should have backed up but said he was "looking at the runner, not the ball."

Said Scioscia: "That's just something that shouldn't happen. The ball was going to short-hop Sean, and he let it go. It took a funny hop by Wood. We have two guys out there to get a 60-foot throw and we missed it."

The ending was reminiscent of a pair of stunning walk-off losses in 2005, when Rodriguez missed a routine throw back from the catcher, allowing the winning run to score, and Scot Shields fielded a bunt and threw into right field, allowing the winning run to score

Statement game

Jered Weaver, fighting for a playoff rotation spot, gave up one run and six hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking three. After Aaron Cunningham's run-scoring double in the fifth and an intentional walk to Ryan Sweeney, Weaver struck out cleanup batter Jack Cust and Kurt Suzuki with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Knocked out

Torii Hunter was scratched from Wednesday's lineup after the center fielder, while taking soft toss in the batting cage, was hit in the right cheek by a ball that caromed off a screen.

Hunter iced his swollen cheek for most of the game and passed a vision test.

"I had a little headache," Hunter said. "I could have played, but they didn't want to take any chances."

Looking ahead

The Angels will open next season at home against Oakland on April 6, and their interleague schedule will feature 18 games against National League West teams, three at Dodger Stadium on May 22-24 and three against the Dodgers in Anaheim on June 19-21.


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