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Angels’ 10 Runs Blyleven to Beat Brewers

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Angels continued to reach higher and higher, collecting a season-high 15 hits Saturday in a 10-3 rout of the Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Stadium.

That extended their winning streak to a season-high six games and moved them ahead of the Seattle Mariners into fourth place in the American League West.

Max Venable, Johnny Ray and Chili Davis each contributed three hits in support of starter Bert Blyleven (3-3), who pitched the club’s second complete game of the season. The only other nine-inning effort was Chuck Finley’s 6-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on May 8.

Despite winning eight of their past nine games, the Angels have not gained ground on the division-leading Oakland A’s, who are 10 games ahead of them.

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Every Angel starter except Gary DiSarcina had at least one hit Saturday as the Angels chased Milwaukee starter Bill Knudson (3-2) and sent the AL East-leading Brewers to their fourth loss in a row. In winning their fifth consecutive game at Anaheim Stadium, the Angels evened their home record at 11-11 and closed within two games of .500 at 21-23. They have not been at .500 since April 25, when they were 7-7.

Although Blyleven yielded a run in the first inning, the Angels got that back for him quickly and added two more.

The opening inning featured a rare event: Paul Molitor drew a leadoff walk, only the seventh walk issued by Blyleven in 50 innings. Molitor went to third on Gary Sheffield’s single to right--a hit that shattered his bat and sent half of it toward the mound--and he scored on Dave Parker’s ground-out. Blyleven got out of the inning by getting Rob Deer to take a third strike.

The Angels teed off on Knudson immediately. Venable, leading off and playing left field, set the tone with a sharp single to center. Ray singled to center, sending Venable to third, and Devon White made it three in a row, scoring Venable and taking second on the belated throw home. Wally Joyner struck out but Davis hit the first pitch for a double to score Ray and White and give him a share of the team RBI lead at 24.

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Venable padded the Angels’ lead to 4-1 in the second inning with a two-out home run into the right-field seats, his second homer of the season. It’s the first time since 1986, when Venable played for Cincinnati, that he has hit two home runs in a season.

More two-out runs extended the Angels’ lead to 6-1 in the third. Davis started it with a single to center, and he moved to second on Dante Bichette’s single to left. Rick Schu drove in Davis with a single to center, Schu’s third RBI of the season. John Orton slammed Knudson’s first pitch into the left-field corner, where it took one bounce before hopping over the fence for a ground-rule double, scoring Bichette.

Two Milwaukee errors set up another two-run inning in the fourth. Reliever Tom Edens’ inability to hold a throw by first baseman Greg Brock put Venable on base, and a single, a walk and Joyner’s double-play grounder brought him around. Ray, who had singled behind Venable, scored when right fielder Deer played Bichette’s curving fly to right too casually and lost it off the end of his glove.

Blyleven, for whom the Angels had scored only 18 runs while he was in his previous nine starts, breezed along. He allowed only two hits and struck out three through the first five innings.

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The Brewers did get to Blyleven for two runs in the sixth. Sheffield singled, went to third on Robin Yount’s double to left and scored when Blyleven threw a wild pitch with Parker at the plate. Yount moved to third on the wild pitch and scored on Parker’s fly to the warning track in center.

The Angels responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff single by Ray--his third of the game--and a double by White ended Edens’ night and brought in Bill Krueger. He fared no better, giving up a single to Joyner that scored Ray and White and gave the Angels a 10-3 lead. After walking Davis, Kruger struck out Bichette and Orton and got Schu to fly to right.


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