Rockies 4, Angels 3: Rockies Need Extra Innings To Beat Angels

After a late-evening loss to the Red Sox, the Rockies take things on the road to Anaheim. Or Los Angeles. Who knows where the Angels play these days.

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Rockies 4, Angels 3

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) – Jonathan Herrera had three hits and drove in the game-winning run in the 11th inning, as the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the LA Angels, 4-3, in the first of three games at Angel Stadium.

Chris Iannetta added a two-run homer for the Rockies, who have won six of eight. Carlos Gonzalez also drove in a run in the victory.

Jeff Francis didn’t factor into the decision, giving up three runs, seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3 frames. Matt Belisle (3-3) allowed one hit in 2 2/3 innings to earn the win, and Manuel Corpas picked up his 10th save.

“You can’t say enough about Herrera. He strikes out his first three times then he gets three straight hits and drives in the winning run,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “A real nice win for us. We won together as a team.”

Jered Weaver was denied the win for the Angels after yielding two runs and five hits in seven innings while fanning 11. The righty now has the major league lead in strikeouts with 118 after his third double-digit strikeout effort.

Kevin Frandsen and Mike Napoli each had two hits and a run scored in defeat, the Angels’ second straight after winning five of six.

“A great game, overall,” Weaver said. “I made one bad pitch to Iannetta — a slider that didn’t slide. I have to work on getting my pitch count down. We went ahead but just couldn’t hold the lead.”

The Rockies broke the tie in the 11th off Francisco Rodriguez (0-1).

The first two batters were retired, but Iannetta kept the frame alive with a double down the left field line. Pinch-hitter Melvin Mora worked a walk before Herrera sent a 3-2 pitch through the infield’s left side for a single that plated Iannetta for a 4-3 advantage.

Bobby Abreu singled off Belisle to start the home 11th for the Angels, and Torii Hunter, facing Corpas, just missed a 3-1 fastball, instead flying out weakly to left. Abreu stole second, and Juan Rivera walked. Abreu went to third when Napoli narrowly beat out a potential double-play groundout, leaving runners at the corners and two outs, but Jeff Mathis grounded out to second to end the game.

Los Angeles got on the board in the second, as Rivera singled, moved to third on a Napoli base hit and scored on Mathis’ sacrifice fly.

The Rockies, though, grabbed the lead on Iannetta’s two-run homer in the fifth.

The Angels were able to rally with single runs in both the sixth and seventh.

Kevin Frandsen doubled with one down in the sixth inning, and Hunter tied the game with another two-base hit — this one with two outs.

Mike Napoli began the seventh with a single off Francis and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Reggie Willits lined a single to center, scoring Napoli for a 3-2 lead and ending Francis’ outing.

Weaver came out after the seventh, but Fernando Rodney couldn’t protect the lead.

Herrera began the frame with a bloop single to right and scampered to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Carlos Gonzalez lined a single to right to plate Herrera for a 3-3 game.

The Rockies loaded the bases in the 10th with two outs, but Ryan Spilborghs struck out looking to end the threat.

The Angels fell to 32-11 when scoring first and 12-8 in one-run games…Los Angeles won last year’s season series, 2-1…Iannetta notched only his third home run and second double of the season…Gonzalez recorded his 10th stolen base.

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Colorado Rockies (38-34) at LA Angels of Anaheim (41-34), 8:05 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of 2009 postseason participants seeking to get back to the top of their respective divisions square off in a three-game series that begins tonight at Anaheim's Angel Stadium, where the defending American League West-champion Angels play host to the Colorado Rockies.

Neither club is in first place at the moment, but both remain in striking distance in their division standings. The Rockies sit fourth in the competitive National League West, four games back of front-running San Diego, while the second-place Angels are currently 4 1/2 games behind the scorching Texas Rangers in the AL West.

Anaheim has lost ground to the Rangers, a team riding an 11-game winning streak, despite having prevailed in five of their past seven contests. The Angels took the first two tests of their just-completed series with the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers before being dealt a 10-6 defeat by their crosstown rival last night.

The Dodgers rocked Angels starter Scott Kazmir (7-6) for five runs in the top of the fourth inning to end a string of four consecutive winning efforts for the left-hander. Kazmir also walked three and hit a batter before exiting after only 3 2/3 frames.

"My fastball command wasn't there, but I had a good feel with other pitches," Kazmir said. "Hitting [James] Loney and walking [Russell] Martin in the fourth was big. You can't give guys free bases."

Bobby Abreu went 2-for-3 with two RBI for Anaheim, with Howie Kendrick and Kevin Frandsen each collecting a pair of hits and scoring twice in the loss.

Despite failing to come up with a sweep, the Angels have still won five of their past seven series and are 15-6 since June 2.

Colorado is also 5-2 over its past seven games and enters this series off a strong showing against visiting Boston. The Rockies handed the surging Red Sox back-to-back losses on Tuesday and Wednesday before coming up short in an extra-inning slugfest in last night's finale. Boston claimed a 13-11 verdict on Dustin Pedroia's two-run homer off Huston Street with two outs in the top of the 10th.

The Rockies sent the contest into extra frames by scoring three times during the eighth and ninth innings. Jason Giambi's pinch-hit single in the eighth brought Colorado within 11-9, while Brad Hawpe delivered a two-RBI hit with one out in the ninth to tie the score.

"That's some game, that's some series," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said afterward. "Obviously I haven't been around here since the inception of this ballpark (Coors Field), but I think you might be hard-pressed to find a better three-game series that was played between two clubs."

Hawpe also had a two-run single in his first at-bat, with both Todd Helton and Ian Stewart contributing two RBI for the Rockies. Jonathan Herrera paced Colorado's 18-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

The heavy-hitting Rockies will take their swings tonight off Jered Weaver, who's been one tough customer on the Angel Stadium mound this season. The standout right-hander sports a 1.85 earned run average along with a 2-1 record in six home assignments thus far in 2010, with opponents hitting just .212 off him in those games.

Weaver also owns a 2-0 mark and 2.37 ERA in three interleague starts this year and is coming off a dominating performance over NL Central member Chicago last Saturday. The former first-round pick limited the Cubs to a mere two hits over seven shutout innings and struck out 11 batters, bringing his AL-leading total to 107 for the season.

The 27-year-old, who's never previously faced the Rockies, has won three of his last four starts and has gone 7-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 15 outings this year.

Jeff Francis gets the call for Colorado and will be taking the hill for the eighth time since missing the season's first month-and-a-half while recovering from shoulder surgery. The left-hander has been pitching well as of late, working into the seventh inning in three straight starts and posting a 3.10 ERA over that time frame.

Francis has registered a win and two no-decisions over that three-game stretch. He defeated Toronto on June 19 after surrendering three runs (two earned) on five hits over seven innings, then allowed four runs (three earned) in 6 1/3 frames while not factoring in the final outcome of Saturday's 8-7 win over Milwaukee.

The native Canadian also got a no-decision in his lone career matchup with Anaheim, which took place at Angel Stadium in 2006. Francis gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings that night.

Colorado took two of three from the Angels in that 2006 series, but Anaheim returned the favor with two wins in three bouts against the Rockies at the Big A last season.

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