Angels end 10-game road win streak in 5-2 loss
LOS ANGELES—An eighth-inning call went against the Los Angeles Angels and set up their eventual defeat.
Former Angel Juan Rivera hit a three-run home run and Andre Ethier added his 500th career RBI in the eighth inning, sending the Angels to a 5-2 loss against the Dodgers on Tuesday night that ended their 10-game road winning streak.
"We were 2 for 14 with guys in scoring position," manager Mike Scioscia said. "So you can't hang winning or losing on the fact that an umpire misses a call. You have to play at a higher level, and we just didn't get it done."
Ethier's run-scoring single tied the game 2-2 hours after the right fielder received an $85 million, five-year contract from the team. Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound before Rivera drove Jerome Williams' next pitch to left field for a 5-2 lead. It was Williams' 102nd and final pitch.
"I was commanding the zone, keeping the ball down and getting outs when I needed to," Williams said. "I just left the ball up to Rivera and he put good wood on it and hit it out."
The entire inning was set up when second base umpire Joe West called Dee Gordon safe on a two-out stolen base. Television replays appeared to show the throw from catcher Hank Conger beat the runner. Scioscia argued to no avail on his bobblehead night against the team he helped to World Series titles in 1981 and `88.
"Joe said he was safe. He said he saw his hand get in there," Scioscia said. "I don't need to see a replay. I thought he was out. Obviously, it's a big play. We didn't get the call to get out of the inning, but we had a lot of chances."
Conger hadn't seen the replay after the game.
"I felt like I made a good throw right there. From my angle, it looked good," he said. "But unless you're right there, you can't really tell. Whatever way the call went, one team or the other would have been arguing. We just got the wrong end of that one."
Williams (6-4) gave up five runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three in his first interleague start since July 4, 2004. The Angels' loss kept them from tying the club record for consecutive road wins, set in 1988.
"He pitched his butt off," Scioscia said. "We all thought he has enough stuff to get out of that inning, and he did get out of the inning. Unfortunately we didn't get that call and those guys got some big hits at the end."
Jamey Wright (3-2) pitched a perfect eighth inning for the victory. Kenley Jansen retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his 10th save in 13 opportunities.
The Dodgers tied the game 1-1 on Rivera's RBI single in the fourth, but the Angels regained the lead in the sixth on a bases-loaded error with two outs. Williams hit a fielder's choice grounder toward the middle that was fielded by former Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy, but Gordon got a late start covering the bag and dropped the toss from Kennedy as he reached the bag ahead of Conger.
Williams doubled with one out in the third and the Angels loaded the bases on a two-out walk by Torii Hunter and a single by Albert Pujols. Kendrys Morales hit a grounder to Kennedy, who was playing on the outfield grass as the Dodgers overshifted against Morales. But Kennedy booted the ball, allowing Williams to score the game's first run.
NOTES: With his third-inning single, Pujols became one of nine active players with 4,000 career total bases. He now has 4,002. ... His double in the seventh gave Pujols multihit efforts in a career-high seven consecutive games. ... Gordon stole three bases. ... The Angels transferred OF Vernon Wells to the 60-day disabled list. ... They optioned OF Kole Calhoun to Triple-A Salt Lake after Monday night's game and selected RHP David Pauley to the major league roster. ... Angels C Bobby Wilson was to play in a rehab game Tuesday night with Inland Empire. ... The Kings will bring the Stanley Cup to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, with their players throwing out the first pitch.