By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
JULY 11, 2002
GAME 87 - ANGELS AT ROYALS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Shawn Wooten has spent enough time in the minor leagues and most recently on the disabled list to shrink his ego down to the size of a peanut. Not even a game-winning home run seems to draw more than an ``Ah, shucks'' from the Angels utility player.
Playing in his first game of the season, Wooten had two hits, including a home run that provided the game's only run in a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals Thursday night before 13,031 at Kauffman Stadium.
Wooten's homer was all the Angels needed because Jarrod Washburn threw six scoreless innings, getting relief help from Ben Weber, Scott Schoeneweis and Troy Percival (22nd save) as the Angels got their seventh shutout of the season.
Washburn hasn't allowed a run in his past 17 innings and stretched his winning streak to 10 games, the longest in the majors this season. Washburn (10-2), who hasn't lost since April 13, lowered his ERA to 3.04.
With the win, the Angels remain three games behind first-place Seattle in the American League West and 1 1/2 games behind wild card-leader Boston. The Angels also went 17 games over .500 (52-35) for the first time since Aug. 31, 1995 (67-50).
And for the second half of the season, they have something they didn't have during the first half in Wooten. They missed having that right-handed bat off the bench as Wooten recovered from injuries.
He tore a ligament in his thumb in a spring training game on March 13, requiring surgery. After recovering from that, Wooten strained a muscle in his ride side swinging a bat during his rehab assignment on May 31.
Thursday, a little tired after an early-morning flight, Wooten said he otherwise felt good, though he had some jitters.
``I was pretty nervous my first at-bat,'' he said, even though he hit one off the end of the bat for a single to right. ``It was like my big league debut. I went up there with no game plan whatsoever.''
For his second at-bat in the sixth inning, Wooten told himself to relax and take a few pitches. On a 2-2 pitch from Royals starter Darrell May (2-6), Wooten hit a liner over the fence in left-center.
``Woot doesn't mess around,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Woot's a good hitter. He handles most pitches in the zone and he'll go the other way. He was swinging the bat pretty good in his rehab stint, and he carried it up up here and gave us a big lift.''
The Angels defense came up big in the third inning. With two out and A.J. Hinch on second base, Carlos Febles lined a single to right. Right fielder Tim Salmon fielded the ball cleanly and threw a one-hop strike to catcher Bengie Molina to get Hinch at the plate.
``With two outs you got to think he's going,'' Salmon said. ``At the same time, he hit a one-hopper right to me. They rolled the dice, but at the same time it took a perfect throw to get him. If it's off line a little, he scores.''
Washburn was out of the game after six innings and 102 pitches because of the heat (83 degrees at first pitch) and humidity.
``I think he was getting a little tired, losing his edge a little bit,'' Scioscia said. ``It was humid out there, and as is the case with him, he works for every out. I think his energy was really zapped tonight."
And about his streak, which has seen him go 10-0 with a 2.58 ERA in his past 15 starts, Washburn said: ``Not when I'm starting, but in between starts, yeah, I think about it. I can remember (his last loss), but I'm glad it was a long time ago.''
After Weber and Schoeneweis combined to throw the seventh and eighth innings, Percival pitched out of a jam in the ninth. He walked Carlos Beltran to open the inning, and Beltran stole second.
But Percival got Mike Sweeney, the major leagues' leading hitter at .361 going into the game, to fly to center for the first out. Percival then got Joe Randa on a fly to right and struck out Raul Ibanez to end it.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Matt Wise would prefer otherwise, but this could be his last season with the Angels.
The Angels like Wise, but finding room for him on their major league roster has been a tough task. Wise was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake Thursday to make room for Shawn Wooten, who was activated from the disabled list. It was the second time this season Wise has been optioned out.
Wise bounced back and forth between Triple-A and the majors in both 2000 and 2001, but it isn't likely to happen next season. After this season Wise will be out of options, meaning the Angels can't send him down without him first clearing waivers. Chances are another club would claim him.
``I know I can pitch in the big leagues,'' he said. ``Ideally I'll pitch for the Angels. But if they don't have room for me, hopefully someone else will.''
As Wise packed his bags in the Angels clubhouse Thursday, he said his goodbyes to teammates -- again -- for now.
``It's nothing you can get used to,'' he said. ``It's the same feeling I felt when I got sent down the first time. And every time I get called up, I get the same feeling I had as when I got called up the first time.''
Because of his situation with the Angels, Wise might be someone the club would consider trading. But he said he'd like to go to spring training next year and try to earn a permanent spot on the roster, whether it's as a starter or reliever.
``Obviously the bullpen changes every year,'' he said. ``The rotation changes every year, although now we've got some long-term guys. It's just a matter of playing it out. Some guys make the big leagues and stick, other guys bounce around. Hopefully I'll stick eventually.''
Scioscia and outfielder Garret Anderson both said they enjoyed their All-Star experience. In fact, Scioscia joked that the game should have continued.
``I said, `Hey, (Freddy) Garcia looks fresh, I think he's got seven or eight (innings) in him,' '' Scioscia said, noting that Garcia pitches for the Mariners, who the Angels are trying to catch in the A.L. West.
Anderson went 0 for 4 with four groundouts and one RBI.
``I was grateful just to get one (at-bat),'' Anderson said.
Reliever Al Levine, on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, threw in the bullpen on Wednesday and will throw batting practice today. He's expected to rejoin the active roster by the middle of next week. ... Benji Gil, who started the game at second base for the Angels, left the game in the sixth inning with a strain in his side. He is day-to-day.
JULY 12, 2002
GAME 88 - ANGELS AT ROYALS
KANSAS CITY – After scoring just seven runs in their previous three games combined, the Angels broke out the bats in an 11-3 win over the Kansas City Royals before 24,824 at Kaufmann Stadium.
It was the Angels’ fifth victory in a row, this one coming courtesy of a 14-hit attack in support of starting pitcher Kevin Appier (7-7).
Appier gave up three runs and five hits in six innings, but his job was made easier thanks a persistent offense. The Angels scored two runs each in the third, fourth and fifth innings, added three more in the seventh and, for good measure, two more in the ninth.
Tim Salmon had three hits – all singles – and drove in a run. Garret Anderson had two hits, including his 16th home run, and three RBIs. Scott Spiezio had two hits and three RBIs, and the Angels remained in second place in the A.L. West, three games behind the Mariners.
JULY 13, 2002
GAME 89 - ANGELS AT ROYALS
KANSAS CITY – Paul Byrd ended the Angels’ five-game winning streak with a three-hit shutout in the Kansas City Royals’ 4-0 victory over the Angels before 19,504 at Kauffman Stadium.
Byrd (12-6) gave up singles to David Eckstein and Adam Kennedy, a double to Brad Fullmer, and that’s it.
Angels starter Aaron Sele (7-6) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings to get the loss.
Despite the loss, the Angels remained three games behind Seattle in the A.L. West.
JULY 14, 2002
GAME 90 - ANGELS AT ROYALS
KANSAS CITY – Coming off one of his best starts of the season, Angels starter Ramon Ortiz had his worst on Sunday in a 12-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals before 12,457 at Kauffman Stadium.
Ortiz gave up one run and three hits in nine innings his previous start, but received a no-decision in a victory over Tampa Bay. This time, Ortiz was hit early and often, giving up four runs in the first inning and five more in the second.
Down 9-0 so early, the Angels had too big a hole to climb out of and came up short, though they wound up with as many hits in the game as the Royals – 12.
David Eckstein, Tim Salmon, Scott Spiezio, Troy Glaus and Adam Kennedy had two hits apiece for the Angels, but they managed only the three runs off Royals starter Miguel Asencio and three relievers.
With the loss, the Angels fell four games back of the Mariners in the A.L. West, but lead Boston by a half-game and Oakland by one full game in the wild-card race.
JULY 15, 2002
GAME 91 - ANGELS AT TWINS
MINNEAPOLIS – Normally eight runs is enough, especially when a team puts up the eight-spot against a pitcher like the Twins’ Johan Santana. But for the Angels, it was not enough, the Angels blowing a 7-1 lead and falling, 10-8, before 19,189 at the Metrodome.
The Angels scored five runs off Santana in the third inning, thanks in part to two Twins errors, but Angels starter John Lackey and reliever Scott Schoeneweis could not hold the lead.
The Angels had only six hits in the game, including three by Troy Glaus, but also drew seven walks and took advantage of the Twins’ shoddy defense. But the Twins got close with four runs off Lackey in the fifth, and then overtook the Angels in the later innings against Schoeneweis.
Cristian Guzman’s two-out, three run home run in the eighth off Schoeneweis turned an 8-7 Angels lead into a 10-8 edge for the Twins. With the loss, the Angels fell into a second-place tie with Oakland, four games behind Seattle in the A.L. West.
JULY 16, 2002
GAME 92 - ANGELS AT TWINS
MINNEAPOLIS – Jarrod Washburn pitched six strong innings, relievers Scot Shields and Ben Weber combined for three scoreless frames and the Angels snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Twins before 26,258 at the Metrodome.
Washburn gave up two runs and seven hits in his six innings, improving his season mark to 11-2. Shields retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth, and Weber pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Garret Anderson had the key hit for the Angels, a two-run homer off Twins starter Eric Milton in the fourth inning, Anderson’s 17th homer of the season. The victory moved the Angels to within three games of first-place Seattle in the A.L. West.
JULY 17, 2002
GAME 93 - ANGELS AT A’S
OAKLAND – The Angels broke out the bats on Oakland A’s starter Tim Hudson and three relievers for 15 hits on their way to a 10-4 win before 38,547 at the Oakland Coliseum.
Garret Anderson hit his 18th home run of the season, and David Eckstein hit his fifth, a three-run blast in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. Scott Spiezio and Adam Kennedy each had three hits for the Angels, who moved past the A’s into sole possession of second place in the A.L. West, three games behind Seattle.
Angels starter Kevin Appier was the beneficiary of all the offense, improving his season mark to 8-7 after giving up three runs and seven hits in six innings.
JULY 18, 2022
GAME 94 - ANGELS AT A’S
OAKLAND – The Angels wrapped up the three-city, eight-game road trip against the Oakland A’s, but unfortunately for them, it seems their offense ended the trip yesterday.
One day after knocking around A’s pitching for 10 runs and 15 hits, the Angels were shut out by Barry Zito and the Oakland bullpen in a 2-0 loss before 15,733 at the Oakland Coliseum.
The Angels finished the trip with four wins and four losses, and returned home four games behind Seattle in the A.L. West.
Zito improved to 13-3 with 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits. Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson each had two hits for the Angels, but the team was just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.