By Pete Zarustica/Garden Grove Journal
So far, the 2010 season for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is a little bit like your stock market investments: just when you think you’ve evened out, things take a tumble.
After taking series’ from the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees, it looked like the Angels stock was set to soar into the leadership of the American League West. But investors had a reason to run for cover when the Halos promptly dropped four straight games, three to the Detroit Tigers and a blowout Monday night to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
On Tuesday night the streak was stretched to five losses as the Halos fell 5-1. Boston scored four runs in the eighth to break open a tie game.
The Angels again wasted a strong performance by Ervin Santana, who scattered seven hits over seven innings and struck out seven.
Kevin Jepsen imploded in the eighth, walking three batters, yielding two hits and giving up all four runs. The Angels ended up with just five hits in the game (compared to Boston’s 12), three of them by Mike Napoli.
The loss dropped the Angels to 12-16, keeping them near the bottom of the ALW.
Monday night’s spanking in Massachusetts was especially hard to take. If the Angels hadn’t been able to push across four runs in the ninth, it would have been one of the worst losses to the Bosox in team history.
Boston rattled 20 hits around Fenway and got them in bunches, especially during a seven-run seventh inning.
“It wasn’t pretty,” said Angel manager Mike Scioscia of the loss, which led to the Halos’ second four-game skid this young season.
“Some of the guys on our team are going to have to get into the game and make some adjustments.” the veteran skipper added.
The blame for the losing streak can be spread around like junk bonds. Over the last week (including Monday’s game), the Angels batted an anemic .255 with only three home runs.
Their futility at the plate was underscored by their swishes: they struck out 36 times and walked just 14 times, a scandal for any Scioscia-led team.
Out on the mound, things weren’t much better. The pitching staff posted an 8.05 ERA and yielded nine home runs.
The Halos continued their series with the Red Sox Wednesday night (results too late for our deadline) and will conclude it today (Thursday). The season’s longest road trip pulls into Seattle for a Friday-through-Sunday series with the Mariners.
Finally, on Monday, it’s back to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for a six-game series.The homestand starts with three against the Tampa Bay Rays (through Wednesday).