“It was a circus out there.”
These were the words Dan Haren, the Angels starter, used to describe Friday night’s Angel win over the Dodgers 8-3 at Dodger Stadium. Truer words may never have been spoken.
The Angels had runners thrown out at every base by the third inning. Two men were picked off, two men caught stealing and they weren’t the only ones. The Dodgers had two men thrown out and Jeff Mathis threw to the wrong base on a Tony Gwynn Jr stolen base. But the Angels pulled out an easy 8-3 win to keep the Angels three games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West and bring the team to one game under .500.
The antics started right away. Bobby Abreu walked and stole second base in the first inning. Vernon Wells singled but his turn around first was too wide, leading to a rundown and a play at the plate. In the second inning Mark Trumbo was picked off first and was followed the next inning when Erick Aybar was also picked off.
Matt Kemp led off the scoring against Dan Haren with a two run homer in the first inning. The Dodgers followed by putting a runner on third with less than two outs in the second, third and fourth innings but failed to score as Haren battled through. The Dodgers had two runners thrown out at the plate in those situations.
Haren struggled through six innings but managed to only give up three runs on ten hits with three strikeouts but for one of the few times all year, the Angels managed to score runs for him as he left with a 5-3 lead and earned his seventh win on the season.
Haren also helped his own cause in the second inning when he singled with men on first and second, with Alberto Callaspo scoring just ahead of Jeff Mathis being thrown out at third to end the inning. This brought the team to within 2-1.
The Angels took the lead for good in a three run fifth inning when Maicer Izturis doubled in Jeff Mathis to tie the game and Erick Aybar followed with a homerun hugging the right field foul pole, his fourth of the season.
Howie Kendrick added a solo homer in the sixth. It was the Angels ninth homerun in the last ten games after hitting only one in an eleven game span. The Angels added two more insurance runs late in the game when James Loney threw past first base on a Peter Bourjos bunt. Erick Aybar came all the way around to score with Bourjos making it to third. He would score on an Alberto Callaspo single giving the team an 8-3 lead.
“We were fortunate,” Manager Mike Scioscia told the media. “Early in the game we just did a poor job of baserunning. Sometimes we were too aggressive. Sometimes we weren’t aggressive enough.”
Scioscia summed it up best, “I think this is the most bizarre baserunning game we’ve ever seen.”
Torii Hunter missed his first game of the season after running into a wall in Florida. He had previously played in all 76 games.
First round pick CJ Cron is expected to sign with the Angels on Monday. He tweeted Friday “Off to Anaheim on Monday to sign the contract! I’m going to be an Angel.”