Angels leave scoring chances on the bases
Club laments missed opportunities in second straight loss
OAKLAND -- Johnny Giavotella knew it had a chance. Angels manager Mike Scioscia thought it was hit hard enough. From the dugout, Albert Pujols believed it was a "no-doubter."
With two down in the ninth, Giavotella crushed one to left field off A's closer Tyler Clippard. A home run would have catapulted the Angels back in front, but Sam Fuld reeled it in on the warning track to preserve a 3-2 series-clinching win for Oakland at the Coliseum on Sunday.
"I hit it pretty good," Giavotella said. "I'm a little guy, so I don't have the most power in the world, so it didn't surprise me that it didn't get out."
That was the theme all day for the Angels, a storyline not unlike the one a day earlier when they had their chances but couldn't capitalize. On Sunday, the Angels finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base.
A's starter Scott Kazmir, who hadn't beaten the Angels since 2008 and had a career 7.56 ERA against them, tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball en route to his fourth win.
Though Kazmir ultimately prevailed, the Angels had their share of chances.
In the first, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout singled, but Pujols flied out and David Freese struck out and slammed his bat to the ground. On Pujols' deep fly ball, he said he hit Kazmir's changeup with a broken bat, which turned "decent" contact into an undesirable result.
Pujols flied out to right with Calhoun and Trout on base in the third.
"Albert hit two rockets with guys in scoring position," Scioscia said.
In both the fifth and sixth innings, the Angels hit into inning-ending double plays. Pujols finally got enough of one for a two-run homer to slice the deficit to 3-2 in the eighth, but that was it.
The Angels nearly stole the game and the series, but they came up just short. Scioscia said Giavotella's ball was hit in an area where the wind pushes it in and curbs home runs.
The ball was right in front of the 367 marker in left. A bit to the left, Scioscia said, you're fine. A bit more to the right, it'll go.
"It was right in that alley there," Scioscia says. "It is what it is. It's just frustrating."
Once again the Angels couldn't do enough to come from behind.
"We came a few feet away tonight," Giavotella said.