Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sports News

Kazmir, Hunter help Angels beat Cubs

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[June 19, 2010]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Scott Kazmir outpitched Carlos Silva to win his fourth straight start, Torii Hunter hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning Friday and the Los Angeles Angels held off a late Chicago rally for a 7-6 victory over the Cubs.

HardwarePlaying at Wrigley Field for the first time in their 50-year history, the Angels won for the 15th time in their last 20 road games. Despite a run of injuries that has dramatically altered its lineup, Los Angeles is an AL-best 23-11 since May 14.

Howie Kendrick added a two-run homer off Bob Howry in the Angels' three-run seventh, which began with third baseman Jeff Baker making errors on consecutive plays.

It was the third time in four games that a Cubs player has made two errors in an inning, the kind of lapses that have contributed to their 30-37 record. First baseman Derrek Lee's throwing error let in an eighth-inning run that made it 7-2, eliciting boos from the crowd.


The Angels ended up needing those extra runs as Francisco Rodriguez walked the first two batters in the ninth before serving up Tyler Colvin's homer as a hard rain began to fall. Fernando Rodney retired the next two batters but gave up Lee's second homer of the game before getting Geovany Soto to ground out as lightning flashed and thunder boomed.

It was Rodney's sixth save in as many chances since taking over for injured closer Brian Fuentes.

Kazmir (7-5) is 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA in June after posting a 6.34 ERA in his first nine starts. He allowed two run on five hits in six innings.

That was good enough to top Silva (8-2), who has lost his last two starts despite pitching decently. He gave up three runs on six hits in six innings, the last hit being Hunter's rising liner that sailed into the center-field bleachers and put the Angels up 3-2.

Hunter has 18 RBIs in 17 June games and has helped make up for the absence of Kendry Morales, Erick Aybar and other injured Angels.

The Angels went up 2-0 in the fourth. Bobby Abreu doubled, went to third on Hunter's single and scored on Hideki Matsui's single. With two outs, Jeff Mathis executed a perfect RBI bunt single in front of Baker, who was playing deep.

Mathis has hit in all 11 games in which he has played this season. Friday was his first day back after missing two months with a broken wrist.

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Abreu has a career .348 average at Wrigley Field and a .522 mark against Silva. Abreu wanted to join the Cubs after the 2008 season but they instead signed Milton Bradley, who turned out to be a bust and was traded to Seattle for Silva.

Lee led off the Chicago fourth with a homer and the Cubs made it 2-all in the fifth on Soto's sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia was encouraged by the progress of Aybar, who hyperextended his left knee Monday in a collision with Milwaukee's Casey McGehee. Scioscia said the shortstop might not have to go on the DL but won't know for sure for a few days. ... The Angels are 31-9 when they score first. ... Batting leadoff for the first time, Colvin went 2 for 4 with a walk. He couldn't remember ever batting first in high school, college or the minors. ... Although Silva faced seven batters and gave up four hits in the fourth, he threw only 15 pitches in the inning.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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