Torii Hunter, Howie Kendrick help power Angels to 7-6 victory over Chicago Cubs
Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick each hit home runs, and the Angels took advantage of a pair of Chicago Cubs errors to score three unearned runs in the seventh inning of a 7-6 interleague victory in their first-ever game in Wrigley Field.
Scott Kazmir allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to extend his win streak to four, a stretch in which the left-hander has posted a 2.35 earned-run average.
But the Cubs came roaring back in the ninth, though, with Tyler Colvin smashing a three-run home run to right field off reliever Francisco Rodriguez. Manager Mike Scioscia brought in Fernando Rodney, who quickly got two outs before giving up a solo home run to Derrek Lee. But then Rodney was able to get Geovany Soto to ground out to end the game.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, a rally that began with Bobby Abreu's one-out double to center and Hunter's bloop single to left. Hideki Matsui hit a run-scoring single to left, and Jeff Mathis, playing for the first time since breaking a bone in his right wrist on April 19, dropped an RBI bunt single to third.
The Cubs pulled even with runs in the bottom of the fourth (Lee solo homer to right-center) and fifth (Soto sacrifice fly) innings, but a peculiar decision by Chicago Manager Lou Piniella may have stifled a potential rally in the fifth.
Colvin opened the inning with a walk, and Kazmir hit Jeff Baker with a pitch, bringing up No. 3 batter Marlon Byrd, who entered with a .328 average, nine homers and a team-leading 34 runs batted in.
But with two on and no outs, Byrd dropped a sacrifice bunt attempt in front of the mound. Colvin took third, but Kazmir threw to second in time to force Baker for the first out. Lee walked, and Soto hit his sacrifice fly, but the inning ending when Alfonso Soriano grounded back to the mound.
The Angels went ahead, 3-2, on Hunter's solo shot in the sixth, a liner to left-center off starter Carlos Silva that gave the Angels center fielder 11 homers on the year.
Mathis opened the seventh off reliever Bob Howry with a slow roller to third, but Baker's off-balance throw sailed wide of first for an error, allowing Mathis to take second. Brandon Wood dropped a sacrifice bunt to third but reached when Baker's throw pulled Lee off the bag at first.
Baker then dropped pinch-hitter Juan Rivera's potential double-play grounder and had to settle for the out at first, Mathis scoring for a 4-2 lead. Kendrick then drove a two-run homer to right-center, his sixth of the season.
--Mike DiGiovanna in Chicago
Photo: Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire.