PHOENIX(AP) Gary Matthews Jr. took a big lead and stole home.
Los Angeles Angels
took a big lead and hung on.
Matthews Jr. swiped home and hit a three-run double,
homered and the
Los Angeles Angels
cashed in on four Arizona errors to defeat the Diamondbacks 12-8 on Sunday afternoon.
Matthews' steal helped the Angels build a 9-2 lead in the fifth. They let the NL West cellar dwellers draw within 9-8 in the
sixth before the bullpen closed the door.
On a day the teams combined for 20 runs and 26 hits, the most exciting play came in the fourth, when Angels manager
gave Matthews the green light to steal with Arizona's
(5-5) pitching from the windup.
''How many opportunities do you get to steal home and the manager doesn't mind it?'' Matthews said. ''So I figured I could
give it a shot.''
With two out and the bases loaded, Matthews had doubled down the left field line to give the Angels a 3-2 lead, then took
third on third baseman
's throwing error.
batting from the left side, Matthews broke as Scherzer went into his windup on a 1-2 count. Matthews and the ball arrived
at the plate at the same time, and he slid under Montero's tag.
''They're definitely not expecting that with two strikes,'' Matthews said. ''The key is obviously getting out there far enough,
but also kind of surprising someone.''
It was the second time Matthews has stolen home. He scored his first career run by stealing home on June 4, 1999.
Los Angeles swept the three-game series and wrapped up interleague play with a majors-leading 14-4 record, including 8-1 on
''I think the bottom line is you have to play good baseball, whether you're playing interleague in a National League park,
where you take the DH out,'' Scioscia said. ''We haven't won these games because we're playing National League clubs. We've
won them because we've happened to play good baseball at the time.''
The Diamondbacks dug themselves a big hole with their gloves and nearly dug out of it with their bats.
Arizona collapsed in the fifth, committing three errors in a span of five batters to match a franchise record for errors in
dropped a routine throw, right fielder
dropped a line drive and second baseman
let a grounder go through his legs as the Chase Field crowd of 25,684 erupted into boos.
''It's embarrassing for us, for the fans, our GM (Josh Byrnes), our players and our whole family,'' Ojeda said.
Arizona manager A.J. Hinch called the mistakes ''inexcusable,'' but they're not uncommon for a team that leads the majors
with 71 errors.
Only three of the eight runs allowed by Scherzer were earned. He went 4 1-3 innings and gave up four hits, walked three and
struck out two.
Down 9-2 in the fifth, the Diamondbacks awoke against Angels starter
(7-1), who allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings, walking two.
Arizona got a run back on
's groundout in the fifth, then pulled within 9-8 in the sixth on a two-run double by
and RBI singles by
, Parr and Montero.
The Angels made it 10-8 in the eighth on a solo shot by Mathis and 12-8 on Izturis' two-run homer.
''We did battle back and showed some guts and some character, but at the end of the day we lost the game, and that's what
I'm disappointed in,'' Hinch said.
NOTES: The Angels matched a season with 12 runs. They also did it Friday night in a series-opening 12-3 win. ... Hinch closed
the clubhouse before the game to call a team meeting - the third in less than two weeks but would not divulge what was said.
''We had a lot to talk about,'' Hinch said. ''We are a last-place team not playing up to our standards.'' ... Arizona is 2-11-1
in home series this year, and 0-7-1 under Hinch, who replaced
on May 8. ... The Angels open a three-game series at Texas on Monday night. The division rivals will play six times in the
next 10 days.