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Anaheim at Cincinnati

Scoreboard
L.A. Angels (40-25)0002100003112
Cincinnati (26-39) «00030011x590

Escobar fans career-best 14, but Reds still beat Angels

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

CINCINNATI -- A swing, a miss. Another swing, another miss. The Cincinnati Reds looked totally lost against Kelvim Escobar, who had his way with their free-swinging lineup for six innings.

As soon as he left, everything changed.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning helped Cincinnati survive Escobar's overpowering performance on Tuesday night, rallying the Reds to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Escobar struck out a career-high 14 -- including Griffey twice -- in six innings, making the Reds look feeble.

"I was able to put guys away with fastballs, splitters and sliders," Escobar said. "Everything was working good -- my changeup, my fastball. I punched guys out with all of my pitches."

One problem: He threw too many. All those strikeouts inflated his pitch count to a season-high 116, forcing him out after six innings.

"I'm glad we're not facing him again," Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips said.

Singles by Scott Hatteberg and Phillips off Dustin Moseley (4-1) set up the tiebreaking run, and Griffey's fly to right off Darren Oliver snapped a 3-all tie. A fielding error by second baseman Erick Aybar let in another run in the eighth.

Jon Coutlangus (3-1) pitched a perfect inning in relief of Bronson Arroyo, who hasn't won a game since May 6. David Weathers got the last four outs for his 13th save in 15 chances.

The Angels lost for only the ninth time in their last 32 games, a streak that has sent them to the top of the AL West. Their 40-25 mark is the best in franchise history -- the 1979, '80 and '02 teams had 39 wins at the same point of the season.

Despite the victory, Cincinnati remains at the bottom of the National League at 26-39 and is already looking at things in a much longer perspective.

"Well, you always hope for the best," Griffey said. "Sometimes, things don't work out, but if you keep pushing and getting better, you can start looking forward to next year -- not that I'm saying this year's over."

Casey Kotchman and Gary Matthews Jr. hit solo homers for the Angels, who are 5-2 in interleague play this season.

Escobar dominated in the Angels' first game in Cincinnati. His 14 strikeouts were the most by an Angels pitcher since Chuck Finley fanned 15 Yankees on May 23, 1995.

Escobar has pitched two of his greatest games at Great American Ball Park, which has been one of the most homer-friendly in the majors since it opened in 2003.

In his only other appearance at Great American, he led Toronto to a 5-0 win on June 8, 2003. That game was a turning point for Escobar, who had lost his job as the Blue Jays' closer a month earlier. He also had a single for his first career hit and RBI.

It was like old times in his return. Escobar struck out eight of the first 11 batters he faced on Tuesday, and had a single that set up a run -- his second hit in 23 career at-bats.

"I only have two hits in my career, and they were both here," Escobar said. "This is a hitter's park."

A hit and a slide by Josh Hamilton led to Escobar's only bad inning.

Hamilton doubled home a run in the fourth and extended the rally with a strategic slide. He ran to third on a grounder by Alex Gonzalez and pulled his hand away to avoid Chone Figgins' tag, later stretching to get the bag. The move paid off when David Ross followed with a squeeze bunt for a 3-2 lead.

"On a couple of defensive plays, we opened the door for them a little bit and they took advantage of it," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Kelv certain put us in position to win that game, and we didn't."

Arroyo remained stuck in his rut. The right-hander gave up three runs in six innings, throwing 115 pitches. He hasn't won since May 6, going 0-5 in his last seven starts with a 7.65 ERA.

Notes

  • The Angels and Reds have played a series once before, with the Angels taking two of three in California in 2002.
  • Los Angeles' Garret Anderson was out of the lineup for the second straight game because of tightness in his right leg.
  • RHP Jered Weaver felt better Tuesday after visiting a chiropractor and was expected to make his next scheduled start. Weaver left Sunday's game with tightness in his lower back.
  • Scioscia dropped Reggie Willits from the leadoff spot to eighth in the order because he has been struggling lately.
  • Figgins had a pair of hits and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games.
  • The Reds struck out 16 times overall, matching their second-highest total for a nine-inning game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kelvim Escobar's 14 strikeouts are the most by an Angels pitcher in a game since 1995. (AP)
Kelvim Escobar's 14 strikeouts are the most by an Angels pitcher in a game since 1995. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

K. Griffey
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Anaheim

C. Kotchman
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B4021100 .259
Orlando Cabrera, SS5010004 .332
Vladimir Guerrero, RF3000202 .330
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5111022 .285
Casey Kotchman, 1B5131000 .330
Howie Kendrick, 2B4010021 .271
    Darren Oliver, P0000000 .000
    Hector Carrasco, P0000000 .000
   a- Garret Anderson, PH1000001 .267
Mike Napoli, C4000022 .259
Reggie Willits, LF3120100 .317
Kelvim Escobar, P3010022 .333
    Dustin Moseley, P0000000 .000
    Erick Aybar, 2B1000001 .250
Totals38311348  
a-flied out for Carrasco in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chone Figgins (7, Arroyo), Casey Kotchman (14, Weathers), Howie Kendrick (6, Arroyo)
HR - Gary Matthews Jr. (9, Arroyo), Casey Kotchman (8, Arroyo)
RBI - Chone Figgins (14), Gary Matthews Jr. (39), Casey Kotchman (33)
2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (4)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Erick Aybar (4, Misplayed grounder), Kelvim Escobar (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Kelvim Escobar 65331140 2.89
Dustin Moseley (L,4-1) 0.1211000 2.34
Darren Oliver 1210020 6.16
Hector Carrasco 0.2000000 6.21
Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 116-78, Dustin Moseley 11-8, Darren Oliver 25-16, Hector Carrasco 8-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 3-3, Hector Carrasco 3-0
Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 26, Dustin Moseley 3, Darren Oliver 5, Hector Carrasco 3
Cincinnati Reds
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4110122 .276
Brandon Phillips, 2B4020010 .283
Ken Griffey Jr., RF3111023 .284
Adam Dunn, LF4110024 .250
    Gary Majewski, P0000000 .000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000 .000
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B4110024 .274
Josh Hamilton, CF4121010 .264
Alex Gonzalez, SS4011022 .265
David Ross, C2001021 .184
   a- Javier Valentin, PH1000000 .230
    Chad Moeller, C0000000 .222
Bronson Arroyo, P2000021 .067
    Jon Coutlangus, P0000000 .000
   b- Norris Hopper, PH-LF2000000 .287
Totals34594116  
a-grounded out for Ross in the 8th
b-lined out for Coutlangus in the 7th
Batting
2B - Brandon Phillips (13, Escobar), Josh Hamilton (7, Escobar)
SF - Ken Griffey Jr. (4)
SH - David Ross (4)
RBI - Ken Griffey Jr. (37), Josh Hamilton (20), Alex Gonzalez (28), David Ross (18)
SB - Brandon Phillips 2 (13, 2nd base off Escobar/Napoli, 2nd base off Oliver/Napoli)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
PB - David Ross (5)
Cincinnati Reds
Bronson Arroyo 6933352 4.98
Jon Coutlangus (W,3-1) 1000010 4.43
Gary Majewski (H,3) 0.1100010 11.12
Mike Stanton (H,5) 0.1000100 4.32
David Weathers (S,13) 1.1100010 3.58
IBB - Willits by Bronson Arroyo
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 115-69, Jon Coutlangus 10-5, Gary Majewski 13-8, Mike Stanton 10-4, David Weathers 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 4-9, Jon Coutlangus 1-1, David Weathers 1-2
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 30, Jon Coutlangus 3, Gary Majewski 2, Mike Stanton 2, David Weathers 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23153
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Charlie Reliford, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Tony Randazzo