Angels find alternate routes home in 6-5 win over A's
Hitting with runners scoring position has not been the Angels' forte this season. They entered Monday night's game with a .244 average with runners in scoring position, the 11th-best mark in the American League, after setting a franchise record with a .297 average with runners in scoring position in 2009.
But who says you have to hit with runners in scoring position to win? The Angels rallied for three runs in the seventh inning for a 6-5 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night, scoring the first run on Hideki Matsui's pinch-hit RBI single and the second and third when Erick Aybar was hit by a pitch and Hank Conger walked with the bases loaded.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Angels, who are one game behind the A's for second place and need to win five of their six remaining games to finish at .500.
"It's like a pick-up basketball game -- you want to win," right fielder Torii Hunter said. "I don't want to talk about second place. We're not in first, and that's all that matters. But our goal is to finish .500."
Manager Mike Scioscia's goal isn't so much tied to numbers.
Maicer Izturis' goal was to simply play baseball, and the infielder did just that for the first time since going down with an inflamed right shoulder on Aug. 19. Izturis, who missed about three months of the season because of three stints on the disabled list, drove in a run during the Angels' three-run second inning with a single, singled in the sixth and walked during the seventh-inning rally.
"We sorely missed Izzy this summer," Scioscia said. "You can see what he can do. He's definitely a guy who, with Kendry Morales, would have had a big impact on the club."
A week ago, Izturis thought he would miss the remainder of the season, but he started feeling better late last week and was sound enough to start Monday night. He plans to play about a month of winter ball in his native Venezuela.
"If I have a good last week, it's going to help my mind," Izturis said. "I'm going to play hard."
The Angels won despite being outhit, 15-8, and despite a subpar start from Ervin Santana, who entered with a career 12-3 record and 1.80 earned-run average against the A's but gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings.
Photo: The Angels' Hideki Matsui delivers a game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning against Oakland on Monday night. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire