05/20/07 8:08 PM ET
Escobar's gem fuels sweep of Dodgers
Righty throws eight scoreless frames en route to fifth win
By Jayson Addcox / MLB.com
"It was huge, because when you get in trouble, that's the best play you can have as a pitcher," Escobar said. "As the pitcher, you set the tempo. If you pitch quick, they're going to be on their feet ready to make a play for you.""You can go back and there were a number of pitches that were big and a number of plays that were big," Scioscia said. "The double play in the first inning really let Kelvim settle down out there. And Kelvim certainly set a tone out there on the mound today." Offensively, the Angels continued the weekend-series trend of breaking the game open in the middle innings, scoring three runs in the fifth off Dodgers starting pitcher Derek Lowe. Lowe pitched a complete game, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while striking out six. However, it was the Angels' ability to capitalize on the Dodgers' mistakes that defeated Lowe. The Angels scored a run in the first after third baseman Wilson Betemit booted a ground ball by Gary Mathews Jr., keeping the inning alive. Casey Kotchman followed with single, scoring Vladimir Guerrero, who hit a two-out RBI double to start the rally. In the fifth with the score 1-0, the Angels got back-to-back hits by Erick Aybar and Molina to start the inning. Aybar, however, tried to score from third on a ground ball to Nomar Garciaparra, but he was tagged out on a collision at the plate that sent catcher Russell Martin head over feet. Lowe struck out the next batter, Reggie Willits, and the momentum seemed to shift to the Dodgers. The Angels didn't retreat, though, putting together three consecutive singles compounded by an error to score three runs. "Derek Lowe is tough. He's going to get ground ball after ground ball," Scioscia said. "We put some guys in motion, and I thought we did a good job staying inside the ball. We used the middle of the field, and that's the way you beat Derek." The Angels completed their first series sweep of the Dodgers at Angel Stadium since June 2005 and improve their record against the Dodgers to 33-26.
Jayson Addcox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.