Halos 'pen keeps Red Sox in check
Relievers combine for 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allow two hits
ANAHEIM -- All season long, Francisco Rodriguez has been the big man and the record-setter in the Angels' bullpen, with a Major League record 62 saves.On Sunday night, he was just one of five relievers who combined for 7 1/3 scoreless innings for the Angels in their 5-4 victory in 12 innings over the Red Sox in Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park.
"Great job, huh?" said reliever Darren Oliver, who worked one-third of an inning. "We had to; it was do or die. I'm even tired from my short work.""It just felt good to come out and help the team get a win," said reliever Scot Shields, who pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings by retiring seven straight hitters. Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 10th inning, but with the game still tied and manager Mike Scioscia running out of options, the Angels had to call on starter Jered Weaver for his first relief appearance in the Major Leagues. Weaver, passed over for a starting assignment in the series, pitched two scoreless innings and was rewarded with the victory. "It was definitely an adrenaline rush," Weaver said. "It's obviously not something I'm used to doing. They gave me plenty of time to warm up, so I just treated it like another start. I just let the adrenaline take over, and I felt good coming in." Weaver won 11 games in 30 starts during the regular season. But, with three off-days built into the series if it goes five games, Scioscia decided to go with a three-man rotation of John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders. "They just told me to be prepared; you never know what will happen," Weaver said. "As the game went on, they started calling down to the bullpen on the phone. It was a little different hearing my name called, but it was fun."
Shutting the door at Fenway
The Angels' parade of relievers came after starter Saunders allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. Saunders deserved better. Three runs scored on a two-out popup that fell into short center field between Torii Hunter and second baseman Howie Kendrick in the second inning.Saunders took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth but gave up a leadoff double to Jacoby Ellsbury and a two-out double to Kevin Youkilis to tie the game. Saunders came out after walking Jason Bay. Jose Arredondo took over and struck out Mike Lowell to end the threat. Combined, the five relievers held the Red Sox to just two singles and five walks. "They did a great job, keeping it close and giving us a chance," said third baseman Chone Figgins.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.