Angels’ Finley Wins 16th, Ends Tigers’ Streak
Buck Rodgers didn’t enjoy any amazing show of offense from the Angels in his second game as manager, but they did score four runs--something they have failed to do in 60 games this season.
With some good defense and an outstanding pitching performance from Chuck Finley, who became the major leagues’ fourth 16-game winner, it was enough to give Rodgers his first victory as Angel manager, a 4-2 defeat of Detroit in front of 27,494 Tuesday night at Anaheim Stadium.
The Tigers, whose seven-game winning streak ended, fell a game behind first-place Toronto in the American League East.
Bryan Harvey pitched the ninth, giving up a home run to Travis Fryman before getting his 32nd save to break the Angels’ season record of 31, set by Donnie Moore in 1985.
In Rodgers’ debut Monday, the Angels got 10 hits but scored only one run. It was the 52nd time in 60 games this season the Angels have lost a game by failing to score more than three runs.
It was a different story Tuesday, when the Angels scored two runs with two out in the fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead and scored two more runs in the seventh.
The Angels had nine hits.
“We took advantage of our scoring opportunities,” Rodgers said. “Tonight was almost the opposite of last night.”
Finley (16-7) allowed only one run and four hits and struck out a season-high 10. He left with two out in the seventh because of a blood blister on the middle finger of his left hand.
The Tigers lead the majors in strikeouts, and Rob Deer struck out three times.
“They’re a free-swinging team. They’ve showed that all year,” said Finley, who had only 11 strikeouts in his past five starts. “I don’t think my stuff was better. I just made a few good pitches and made them swing at them.”
Clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh, the Angels padded their lead after Skeeter Barnes’ throwing error on Luis Sojo’s sacrifice bunt allowed Junior Felix to score from second. Sojo reached third, where he flopped on his back, exhausted.
Starter John Cerutti gave way to Jerry Don Gleaton. Then with one out, Luis Polonia slapped a single beyond the reach of Barnes, who was playing in, and Sojo scored, making the lead 4-1.
Polonia, after stealing second, was picked off and caught in a rundown for the second time.
The Angels’ baserunning skills were in for another embarrassment moments later, when Shawn Abner was caught in a rundown after being picked off first--the third time in one night an Angel was out in a rundown.