|L.A. Angels (38-32) «||0||0||0||2||0||1||3||1||0||7||7||0|
|Chi. Cubs (30-37)||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||4||6||7||3|
After building a five-run lead thanks to homers by Hunter and Howie Kendrick -- and the incompetence of Chicago's error-prone fielders -- the Los Angeles Angels held on to win 7-6 Friday with Fernando Rodney finally getting the save.
"Woo, man, it was pretty scary," Hunter said of the ninth, when hazy sunshine turned into a driving rainstorm and homers by Tyler Colvin and Lee turned a rout into a one-run game.
"I figured we'd better hurry up and get these guys out," Hunter added. "Colvin and then Lee hit home runs, and now I was closing my eyes. When Lee hit his, I heard thunder. I thought, 'Wow, they're hitting with some thunder.'"
Rodney, who had given up Lee's two-out solo shot after Francisco Rodriguez had walked two batters and then served up Colvin's long three-run homer, wiped out the rally by getting Geovany Soto to ground out.
While the Angels won for the 15th time in their last 20 road games and have overcome numerous injuries to go an AL-best 23-11 since May 14, the Cubs lost the momentum they had built with two straight victories over Oakland -- their first winning streak of any length in nearly a month.
"We battled back. We didn't quit," Colvin said. "You have to look at it as a good effort. It was a good sign."
Not a good sign: The Cubs trailed only 3-2 before errors on consecutive seventh-inning plays by third baseman Jeff Baker led to three unearned runs, including two that scored on Kendrick's homer off Bob Howry.
It was the third time in four games that a Cubs player made two errors in an inning, the kind of lapses that have contributed to the team's 30-37 record. Lee's throwing error at first base let in an eighth-inning run that made it 7-2, eliciting boos from the crowd.
"We worked on these plays the other day," an irritated Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We couldn't execute them in the game, that's all."
Playing at Wrigley Field for the first time in their 50-year history, the Angels were only too happy to accept the Cubs' generosity.
"When the door opened a crack," manager Mike Scioscia said, "we took advantage."
Kazmir (7-5) allowed five hits in six innings and gave up two runs, including one on Lee's first homer. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in June after posting a 6.34 ERA in his first nine starts.
He wanted to pitch deeper into the game, he said, "But my body just wasn't acclimated to the heat. I struggled with it. It was humid. No breeze. No nothing."
Silva (8-2), who has lost his last two starts despite pitching decently, also struggled physically on the muggy, 90-degree day. He gave up three runs on six hits and had to leave after the sixth due to leg cramps.
The last hit he allowed was Hunter's rising liner that sailed into the center-field bleachers for a 3-2 lead. Hunter has 18 RBI in 17 June games and has helped make up for the absence of Kendry Morales, Erick Aybar and other injured Angels.
Hideki Matsui and Jeff Mathis drove in the other Los Angeles runs. Mathis' RBI came on a bunt single, extending his hitting streak to 11 games -- every game in which he has played this season. Friday was his first day back after missing two months with a broken wrist.
|Scott Kazmir allows two runs on five hits in six innings to outpitch Carlos Silva, who falls to 8-2. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||1||2||1||0||1||.269|
|Kevin Frandsen, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||1||1||.339|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.262|
|Torii Hunter, CF||3||3||2||1||1||0||0||.290|
|Hideki Matsui, LF||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||.262|
|Kevin Jepsen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Robb Quinlan, PH-1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.129|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.251|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Fernando Rodney, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jeff Mathis, C||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.316|
|Brandon Wood, SS||3||1||1||0||0||0||3||.160|
|Scott Kazmir, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|b- Juan Rivera, PH-LF||2||0||0||1||0||1||0||.242|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Jepsen in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Kazmir in the 7th|
|2B - Bobby Abreu (18, Silva)|
|HR - Howard Kendrick (6, Howry), Torii Hunter (11, Silva)|
|SH - Robb Quinlan (1), Brandon Wood (4), Scott Kazmir (1)|
|RBI - Howard Kendrick 2 (43), Torii Hunter (47), Hideki Matsui (40), Jeff Mathis (4), Juan Rivera (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Mathis (1)|
|SB - Torii Hunter (6, 2nd base off Grabow/Soto), Robb Quinlan (2, 2nd base off Grabow/Soto)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|PB - Jeff Mathis (1)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Scott Kazmir (W,7-5)||6||5||2||2||3||3||1||5.08|
|Fernando Rodney (S,6)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.29|
|IBB - Theriot by Scott Kazmir|
|HBP - Baker (by Scott Kazmir)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 105-63, Kevin Jepsen 18-12, Francisco Rodriguez 28-15, Fernando Rodney 16-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 6-9, Kevin Jepsen 1-2, Fernando Rodney 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 27, Kevin Jepsen 4, Francisco Rodriguez 6, Fernando Rodney 4|
|Tyler Colvin, RF||4||2||2||3||1||0||0||.315|
|Jeff Baker, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.253|
|a- Kosuke Fukudome, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Marlon Byrd, CF||5||0||0||0||0||0||3||.321|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||2||2||2||1||0||1||.232|
|Geovany Soto, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.275|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.267|
|Starlin Castro, SS||3||0||1||0||1||1||0||.272|
|Ryan Theriot, 2B||2||1||0||0||2||0||2||.277|
|Carlos Silva, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.080|
|Bob Howry, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Grabow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tom Gorzelanny, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
|b- Chad Tracy, PH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.270|
|a-grounded out for Baker in the 9th|
|b-walked for Gorzelanny in the 9th|
|2B - Starlin Castro (4, Kazmir)|
|HR - Tyler Colvin (8, Fr. Rodriguez), Derrek Lee 2 (10, Kazmir, Rodney)|
|SF - Geovany Soto (1)|
|RBI - Tyler Colvin 3 (20), Derrek Lee 2 (29), Geovany Soto (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (12)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Castro-Lee|
|E - Jeff Baker 2 (2, Throwing), Derrek Lee (4, Throwing)|
|Carlos Silva (L,8-2)||6||6||3||3||0||4||1||3.01|
|WP - Bob Howry (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 70-50, Bob Howry 17-10, John Grabow 19-11, Tom Gorzelanny 10-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 11-3, Bob Howry 5-0, John Grabow 1-1, Tom Gorzelanny 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 24, Bob Howry 6, John Grabow 5, Tom Gorzelanny 3|
|Attendance - 39729|
|Game Time - 2:48|
|Temperature - 88|
|Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom|