almost has more pitching problems than one manager can handle. If it's not
struggling through another start for the
Los Angeles Angels
, it's closer
' sudden inability to get anybody out.
Yet the Angels' lineup still has a remarkable knack for the comeback - and reliever
barely managed to do what Fuentes couldn't.
Gary Matthews Jr. hit a tiebreaking three-run double in the eighth inning, and the Angels survived another meltdown by their
All-Star closer for their major league-leading 33rd come-from-behind victory, 7-6 over the
on Tuesday night.
's RBI single tied it earlier in the eighth for the Angels, whose latest remarkable rally made up for another poor performance
by another starter and the usually formidable Fuentes. Scioscia finally found a stopper in Bulger, a 30-year-old right-hander
in his first full big league season.
Entering the game with the bases loaded and nobody out after Fuentes' second straight flop, Bulger induced a double-play grounder
, even covering first for the relay throw. He then stranded Cleveland's tying run on third base with another grounder for
his first career save.
''The last thing (Scioscia) told me when he left the mound was to be sure to cover first base on a ground ball,'' Bulger said.
''The whole thing is a blur. I'm just ecstatic that we came back and won. We do it when it counts.''
Fuentes, the major league leader with 30 saves, fell apart for the second straight night, yielding two runs and failing to
close out the scrappy Indians, whose five-game winning streak ended.
''We had the guy we wanted up there in that situation with the bases loaded, but they turned a hell of a double play,'' Cleveland
said. ''Then Jhonny hit the ball right on the nose, but right at the shortstop. But we had great at-bats prior to that and
made them work for it. We just came up short.''
After giving up two homers and four runs while blowing a save in Monday's loss, Fuentes gave up two walks and two hits without
getting an out. He was heartily booed by the home crowd.
''(Fuentes) is getting a little bit tired,'' Scioscia said. ''The ball's not coming out like it normally does. ... He'll right
his ship and get it back together. It just didn't look like he was comfortable out there.''
(9-1) pitched two solid innings in relief of struggling starter
for the Angels, who have won 13 of 16 despite losing their previous two - just Los Angeles' second set of back-to-back losses
in July. Texas has won eight of nine to close within 2 1/2 games of the Angels atop the AL West standings.
homered and drove in two runs before making the final out, while
also homered as the Indians lost for just the second time in eight games on a remarkable road trip concluding Wednesday.
Wedge didn't second-guess his decision to leave starter
(5-5) in the game to start the eighth. The Angels' first two hitters reached base before reliever
gave up Rivera's RBI single, and Matthews Jr. capped the comeback with a two-out drive to left-center off
''Some games you've got to bear down a little more, and tonight was one of those situations,'' Sipp said. ''I left a ball
across the middle and walked two guys and put myself in a situation for failure.''
Matthews is reveling in his first regular playing time of the season, starting 17 straight games in center field since
''We're comfortable playing from behind,'' Matthews said. ''We're able to manufacture runs. We're not dependent on homers.
This stadium isn't really conducive to home run hitters, and I think they've built the team accordingly.''
Weaver was the latest Angels starter to struggle, barely surviving five innings while giving up eight hits. He is winless
in his last three starts after going 7-1 in his previous nine, and the right-hander has allowed at least three runs in eight
went 2 for 3 in his first game back with the Indians, who recalled him from the minors after trading
to San Francisco. ... The home team wore the softball-style 1980 throwback California Angels uniforms on '80s Night. ... Sean
O'Sullivan, who has bounced from the minors to the Angels' roster this season, pitched a no-hitter for Triple-A Salt Lake.