By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
JULY 3, 2002
GAME 82 - ORIOLES AT ANGELS
ANAHEIM -- Jarrod Washburn will be in Wisconsin during next week's All-Star game, only he'll be at home in Danbury and not at Miller Park in Milwaukee, where the game's best will play the midseason game.
No, Washburn wasn't selected by American League manager Joe Torre to be on the team, but if the Baltimore Orioles had anything to say about it, it might be different. Washburn gave up three hits in eight scoreless innings to lead the Angels to a 1-0 victory before 17,477 at Edison Field.
Darin Erstad's infield single off Orioles starter Scott Erickson in the eighth inning drove in the only run of the game and Troy Percival pitched the ninth in relief of Washburn for his 20th save and the Angels' sixth shutout of the season.
Washburn had a chance to be selected to the game as late as Wednesday because Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez declined his invitation. However, Torre picked Red Sox closer Ugueth Urbina to go in Martinez's place, giving the Red Sox six representatives. The Angels have one in outfielder Garret Anderson.
``I think we got screwed we only have one guy picked for the team as well as we've played,'' Washburn said. ``I thought about it. I'm not the only guy deserving that didn't get picked to go. Percy and Ramon (Ortiz) didn't get picked either.''
Washburn's victory Wednesday was his ninth in a row, matching Oakland's Barry Zito and Arizona's Curt Schilling for the longest win streaks in the majors this season. Washburn hasn't lost since April 13, going 9-0 with a 2.75 ERA in his past 14 starts.
``I think Wash is an All-Star, no doubt the way he's pitched,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``But getting to the All-Star team has as much to do with the All-Star puzzle as anything. We have two or three guys deserving to be on it. He'll be on that team one day.''
As well as Washburn pitched Wednesday, it almost wasn't good enough. The Angels had gone 22 consecutive innings without scoring, going back to Benji Gil's three-run homer against the Dodgers in the second inning on Sunday.
The winning rally started with Bengie Molina's leadoff single in the eighth inning. Nieves pinch ran for Molina and went to second on Orlando Palmeiro's sacrifice bunt, then to third when David Eckstein grounded out on a spectacular play by Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick.
Up stepped Erstad, who had struck out with runners on second and third and two outs in the third inning. Erstad didn't hit it hard, but it was in the right place -- a slow bouncer toward third base.
Third baseman Tony Batista back-handed the ball, but in his haste to make a play with the speedy Erstad going up the line, Batista dropped the ball while trying to throw it and Nieves scored.
``We hit the ball on the screws the last couple nights and had nothing to show for it,'' Scioscia said. ``Then Ersty squibs one and it got us a run.''
The Orioles thought they had a run off Washburn in the fifth but the Angels defense turned them away. The Orioles had runners on second and third with one out when Bordick hit a flyball to medium-deep left-center field, where Erstad made the catch for the second out. Both baserunners tagged and tried to advance, Marty Cordova from third and Jose Leon from second.
Because Erstad had no chance to get Cordova at the plate, his throw went to third. Angels third baseman Troy Glaus stood upright in an effort to fool Leon that there was no play, but Erstad's one-hop throw was perfect and nailed Leon.
Cordova, who figured to score easily, appeared to cruise in from third, but home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez ruled the out at third came before Cordova crossed the plate, nullifying the run and keeping the game tied at 0.
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' ongoing search for bullpen help apparently is now aimed at Kansas City Royals closer Roberto Hernandez, who would serve as Troy Percival's primary set-up man.
Hernandez, 37, is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent at the end of the season. He is making $6 million this season, meaning any team that acquires him now would be responsible for about half of that salary and would risk losing him after the season.
Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said Monday that many teams might be reluctant to part with prospects for high-priced players because of the uncertain labor situation. But it hasn't stopped a team like the Yankees, who traded prospects for right fielder Raul Mondesi.
Hernandez missed the first month of this season with a sore elbow, but since being activated May 3, he is 1-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 14 saves in 16 chances. He was originally drafted by the Angels in the first round in 1986 but was traded in 1989 before reaching the big leagues.
He ranks No. 12 on the all-time list with 308 saves, and had a career-high 43 saves with Tampa Bay in 1999.
Right fielder Tim Salmon appears to have regained the confidence that was shaken after the worst season of his career last year. Salmon went into Wednesday's game hitting .280 with 13 homers and 51 RBIs, which would put him on pace to match his career averages. Last season he had just 17 homers and 49 RBIs while hitting .227.
``He's 180 degrees from where he was last year,'' manager Mike Scioscia said.
``Whether you're a veteran or a young player, confidence is an issue. With veterans, it usually tougher to shake their confidence, but last year had an effect on Tim.''
Brad Fullmer was not in the starting lineup for the second game in a row Wednesday because of flu-like symptoms. Fullmer was examined by Dr. Craig Milhouse Wednesday afternoon. ... Garret Anderson was given a ``semi-day off'' Wednesday, starting as the designated hitter. Orlando Palmeiro started in left field in Anderson's place.