McPherson helps Angels capture rubber game from Braves
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
is starting to resemble the player the
Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim envisioned.
McPherson's two-run triple in the seventh inning snapped a tie and lifted the Angels to an 8-4 victory over the
in the rubber game of their three-game interleague series.
One of the top prospects in the minor leagues in 2004, McPherson replaced slugger
as the Angels' regular third baseman this season. He battled back spasms during spring training, then got off to a slow start.
However, McPherson began to turn things around in May, homering in three straight games at one point. He entered this contest with 10 RBI in his last 11 contests.
"He's going to be a great player," Angels first baseman
said. "But he's young. He's going to have growing pains and he's going to have times when things are not going the way he wants them, but he has exceptional talent."
McPherson came through with another clutch hit in this one, driving a 3-1 pitch from
(1-1) the opposite way off the left field wall to give the Angels a 6-4 lead. He finished 3-for-5 and also scored twice.
Foster ran into immediate trouble in the seventh, issuing a leadoff walk to Erstad. After striking out
, the lefthander allowed a single to
, then fell behind McPherson.
"The key to the whole thing is I got ball one and fell behind," Foster said. "(The pitch to McPherson) was a fastball on the outside corner. In my mind, it was a pretty decent pitch."
Foster retired just one batter and allowed three runs and two hits. He had not given up a run in his previous 17 appearances this season, spanning 10 2/3 innings.
"Everybody's going to give up runs," Foster said. "It's a mater of how I take it. Nobody's going to be perfect."
added a sacrifice fly later in the seventh against
, giving the Angels a 7-4 lead.
had a two-run single and
an RBI base hit in the second to stake the Angels to a 3-0 lead. Figgins went 3-for-5.
"We did some things well," Anaheim manager
said. "We hit well with players in scoring position. Anytime you are playing a tough team like Atlanta and win two of three, we'll take it."
The Braves battled back and scored four times in the fourth, highlighted by rookie
' two-run double. In the inning, Anaheim starter
uncorked a wild pitch to allow a run to score and catcher Molina committed a throwing error to plate another.
(4-1) worked two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts for the win.
Anaheim, which improved to 4-5 on a 12-game road trip, did receive some bad news on the injury front.
Escobar, who spent time on the disabled list earlier this season with bone chips in his right elbow, left after 4 1/3 innings with discomfort in the elbow and will undergo an MRI on Thursday. Meanwhile, right fielder
suffered fractured nose after running into the right field wall in the fourth.
lasted just four innings before leaving after cramping up on a humid night. The righthander gave up four runs and six hits, walked three and struck out one.
"I've been out West for the past six years," Hudson said. "I guess I'm turning into a sissy."
Atlanta lost for the fifth time in seven games.