When Colorado and the LA Angels last met in 2006, Jose Mesa blew the first game of the series, but the Rox bounced back to take the next two and stayed above .500 for the season. (via mlbnetwork.mlb.com)
Tonight marks the first time since June of 2006 that the Rockies and Angels have squared off. Going into that series, the Rockies had just come off a 4-2 homestand that saw them take 2 out of 3 from the A's and Rangers. They stood at 38-37 overall. Los Angeles, meanwhile, had yet to hit their stride, as they were just 34-41. Here's a breakdown of what was to come:
Jason Jennings was cruising along through seven innings, not having allowed a run while striking out five. However, he gave up a lead off single to Maicer Izturis and walked Adam Kennedy, then was removed from the game in favor of Jose Mesa. Mesa promptly gave up two singles, an intentional walk, and a double - with a run-scoring groundout sandwiched in between - and the Rockies suddenly found themselves down 5-3. Jorge Piedra hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth off of Francisco Rodriguez, but the Rockies weren't able to get anything else. Piedra, Brad Hawpe (2-for-4 with an RBI), and Todd Helton (HR, 2 RBIs) led the Rockies offensively.
Jeff Weaver continued his struggles, as the Rox pounded him for six runs and nine hits in two innings, and he fell to 3-10 on the year. Meanwhile, Aaron Cook posted a 20:6 groundball-to-flyball ratio, and earned the win with a solid seven-inning effort. Every starter in the Rockies' lineup had a hit, and everyone with the exception of JD Closser had at least two hits. Garrett Atkins and Clint Barmes each drove in three runs, Matt Holliday had three hits and scored three runs, and Brad Hawpe went 2-for-5 with a homer and 2 RBIs.
The Rockies' offense exploded at the expense of Scot Shields in the eighth inning, after failing to breakthrough against Santana through seven frames. The damage was done on an RBI single by Garrett Atkins and a bases-clearing double off the bat of Jorge Piedra. Jeff Francis was solid for the Rox, pitching 6.2 innings and allowing 2 runs on nine hits. The bullpen won the game, though, as they held the Halos scoreless in 2.1 innings. Ramon Ramirez picked up the win (although he blew a save), and Brian Fuentes struck out two in the ninth and earned the save. Piedra, Cory Sullivan (3-for-5), and Garrett Atkins (2-for-3) paced the Colorado offense.
Let's see you win at least two out of three again, eh guys?