4/12-Vlad’s Late Homer Propels Angels to 5-4 Win

cleared benchesIt was Easter Sunday at the Big A, but in the bottom of the 1st inning, the game was nothing close to peaceful. Both benches cleared after Josh Beckett sailed a fastball over Bobby Abreu’s head while he was calling for time. Torii Hunter, Justin Speier and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher would all be ejected.

In the bottom of the 2nd with Kevin Youkilis batting, Mike Scioscia would yell something from the dugout at home plate umpire Joe West, only to be tossed on the spot.

Dustin Moseley would earn the win today for the Halos, going 5 2/3 innings while giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 3.

Josh Beckett would move to 1-1 on the season with the loss. Beckett would go 6 innings and give up 4 runs on 8 hits with 5 punchouts.

Jose Arredondo would allow no runs in his 1 1/3 innings of work, as would Scot Shields. Shields would load the bases with 1 out, but end up coming out of the inning unscathed, to set up Brian Fuentes for his 2nd save of the season in 3 chances.

Scoring Recap

2nd inning- After the Mike Scioscia ejection, Kevin Youkilis would hit a solo homer to left field, to put the Red Sox on top early on Easter Sunday, 1-0.

J.D. Drew would make it back-to-back jacks, hitting a home run to right field off Moseley to give the Red Sox a 2-0 advantage in the early goings.

3rd inning- With 1 out, Maicer Izturis would score from 2nd on a Howie Kendrick single into right field to pull the Angels to within 1 run. On the play, Chone Figgins would advance to 3rd base, and Kendrick would end up at 2nd on the throw (official scoring: Kendrick single). 2-1 BoSox.

The next batter would be Bobby Abreu, who would drop a single into shallow right field, scoring both Figgy and Kendrick to put the Angels from down 1 to up 1. 3-2 Halos.

5th inning- With 1 outs and Maicer Izturis on 2nd base because of a Josh Beckett balk, Kendrick would come through again with a single into left center, scoring Izturis, but resulting in Kendrick being tagged out at 2nd after trying to leg out his single into a 2-bagger. 4-2 Angels now.

6th inning- On a double steal with Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis on the basepaths, Pedroia would score and Youkilis would take 3rd on a throwing error by Angels catcher Mike Napoli. The Red Sox would now cut the lead to 1 with the Halos in front 4-3.

8th inning- In need of a little breathing room considering the way the bullpen has been in the early goings of the season, Vladimir Guerrero would belt his first homer of the year into left field. The Big Daddy’s solo dinger would give the Angels a much-needed 2-run cushion by a score of 5-3 with the Halos in front.

9th inning- David Ortiz would knock a single the opposite way, scoring Nick Green from 2nd base to bring Boston to within 1, but that’s the closest they’d get. The Halos win it 5-4, and take the series 2 games to 1.

Player-by-Player Recap

1- 3B Chone Figgins – 1-2, 0 RBI, 1 R, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 SB/1 CS, 1 LOB

Figgy got on base in 3 of his 4 plate appearances, which is exactly what Mike Scioscia wants out of his speedy leadoff man. Figgins would steal his 5th base in 6 starts today, as well as get caught stealing for the first time on the year. Not much else you can ask out of Figgins if he’s getting on base 75% of the times he’s up.

2- 2B Howie Kendrick – 3-4, 2 RBI, 1 3B, 1 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 LOB

Kendrick came up with 2 huge knocks today, in his first productive game since Opening Night. He would have 2 run-scoring singles that would prove to be crucial to the outcome of today’s ballgame. He helped turn 2 double plays today as well in the field and was instrumental to the Angels’ success in this contest. Good work, Howie.

3- RF Bobby Abreu – 1-4, 2 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB

Abreu’s one knock of the game was a big one, scoring two on a single of his back in the 3rd inning. Abreu would get the last laugh with Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, as he hurled one over Abreu’s head in the first inning, sparking both benches to be cleared. Abreu’s squad came out on top in today’s game, and his doinker into shallow right was a big reason why.

4- DH Vladimir Guerrero – 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 HR, 0 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB

The Big Daddy would come up big in the bottom of the 8th inning and jack his first homer of the year to give the Angels a 5-3 edge, and that added run would be enormously important since Boston would counter with a run of their own in the top of the 9th. Vladdy posted his 3rd multi-hit game of the season today, and his homer would ensure the Angels of the W.

5- CF Torii Hunter (ejected in 1st inning, no plate appearances)

Replaced by: Gary Matthews Jr. – 1-4, 0 RBI, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 LOB

Matthews had to step in for the tossed Torii Hunter, going 1-4 in a game that you kind of forgot Matthews was even playing in. Nothing spectacular, but hey, he was in the lineup in a winning effort. I guess $10,000,000 a year for being a 5th outfielder ain’t too bad after all.

6- 1B Kendry Morales – 0-4, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB

Kendry was in the Easter spirit, as we found an egg in his hit basket today. Kendry put up an 0-fer today after going 2-4 in yesterday’s ballgame, but is still yet to make an error on the season at first base. We all know his talent at the plate, but his defense had been under intense scrutiny ever since the Halos brought him over from Cuba. So far, so good with the leather.

7- C Mike Napoli – 0-3, 0 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB, 0 LOB

So Nap goes 3-for-3 with 2 home runs and a double yesterday, and the Angels lose. Today, he puts up an 0-for-3 showing and the Angels win. Reverse psychology maybe? Is the “less is more” theory in play with Napoli? Either way, Nap gets his first win of the year in his 3 starts, even though he did make an error that would cost the Halos a run. So go figure this, yesterday, Kendry and Nap go 5-7 with 2 home runs and 2 doubles, leading to a Halo loss. Today, they go a combined 0-7 and are winners. That’s a head-scratcher.

8- LF Juan Rivera – 0-3, 0 RBI, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB

Rough day at the dish for Juan, and that’s about all you can say. He’s currently 4-of-19 on the season at the plate with 1 run scored and 1 extra-base hit. Juan better get it in gear, because I don’t want to see Mr. Matthews Jr. inserted into the lineup with too much frequency… actually with no frequency whatsoever would probably be in the club’s best interest.

9- SS Maicer Izturis – 2-3, 0 RBI, 2 R, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 LOB

Mike Scioscia got a lot of production out of his 9 spot today, and Mighty Maicer would come around to score 2 of the Angels’ 5 runs on the afternoon. Maicer would make an uncharacteristic error in the 5th, but the Angels finally got some production out of their shortstop spot in the lineup today.

Today’s MVP

Vladimir Guerrero

His 8th inning blast would be a game-changer, and an ultimate game-clincher. The Big Daddy picked the perfect time for his first round-tripper of the season, because that extra run would be much needed by Halos closer Brian Fuentes in that 9th inning.

Halo of the Game Review and Pick

4/12 Halo of the Game Pick: Bobby Abreu

Stat Line: 1-4, 2 RBI, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 LOB

Abreu’s 2-run single in the 3rd would give the Angels their first lead of the game, and a lead that they’d hold on to for the rest of the contest. Abreu now is in a tie for the club’s RBI lead with 6 runs driven in, and has an RBI in 4 of his first 6 games in a Halo uniform.

Current Halo of the Game Hit Streak: 6

Halo of the Game Season Hitting Statistics:

.333 avg. (8-24), 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 SB

Tomorrow’s Halo of the Game Pick: Erick Aybar

Tuesday’s Probables

Mariners: Carlos Silva. Silva went 5 innings, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits (2 of them home runs) to the Twins in his first outing of the year, picking up right where he left off the year before. Silva went 4-15 with a 6.46 ERA in 28 games for the M’s in 2008. The Angels offense hasn’t been overly impressive to begin the season, but they have to be licking their chops at the thought of facing a guy who serves up an awful lot of meatballs on the mound.

Angels: Shane Loux. Loux will be making his first start of the year Tuesday, as well as his first major league start since the year 2003. The 29-year-old right-hander was born in Rapid City, South Dakota and graduated from Highland High School in Gilbert Arizona. Loux was in the minor leagues between 2003 and his return in 2008, and now finds himself as another Angel with an opportunity to prove his worth as a valuable member to the Angels’ staff.

The Halos are off tomorrow as they travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners for a 3-game set.

Go Halos!

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