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10/18/09 3:30 AM ET

In RISP situations, Halos falling short

Angels go 3-for-15 in key spots vs. Yankees in Game 2

NEW YORK -- One could use thousands of words to describe a five-plus-hour, 13-inning Game 2 of the American League Championship Series and how the Angels came out on the wrong side of a 4-3 final score against the Yankees on Saturday.

But for right fielder Bobby Abreu, the story behind the defeat was all too simple.

"We didn't hit with runners in scoring position," Abreu said. "That's what it is, pretty much."

Indeed, it is. The Angels were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, leaving 16 men on base.

What's more, the main offenders were right in the thick of the lineup. Abreu stranded five men, Torii Hunter stranded four and, worst of all, Vladimir Guerrero stranded eight.

The pregame talk had centered around leadoff man Chone Figgins, his 0-for-16 funk in the postseason and his need to get on base to generate some offense for this Angels club.

But Figgins got on base four times on Saturday night and came up empty in the run column.

"We did a lot of good things out there on that ball field tonight," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Unfortunately, one of them wasn't hitting with runners in scoring position. And that's eventually what hurt us. We had a lot of opportunities out there. We couldn't get that key hit that might have put the game in a little different light moving forward."

They didn't get it in the seventh, when a Robinson Cano fielding error and a Figgins walk left two on with one out in a 2-2 ballgame. Phil Coke, who relieved A.J. Burnett, struck out Abreu, then gave way to reliever Joba Chamberlain. Hunter reached on an infield single to short to load the bases, but Guerrero, en route to a 1-for-7 night, struck out swinging to end the inning.

AL Championship Series
Gm. 1 NYY 4, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 4, LAA 3 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 LAA 5, NYY 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NY 10, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 LAA 7, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 5, LAA 2 Wrap Video

The Angels also camp up empty in the eighth, when they had two on with one out, only to see Chamberlain strike out Gary Matthews Jr., who stranded four runners in two at-bats, and Mariano Rivera induce an inning-ending groundout from Erick Aybar.

Figgins' RBI single gave the Angels a potential go-ahead run in the 11th, but they were unable to pad that lead, and it would come back to haunt them when Alex Rodriguez took closer Brian Fuentes deep in the bottom of the inning. Abreu was intentionally walked by Alfredo Aceves to put two on with one out, but Hunter grounded into a double play.

It didn't get any better in the 12th, when Matthews struck out with two on and two outs, or in the 13th, when Hunter and Guerrero grounded out in succession with two on.

And when the Yankees finally won the game in the bottom of the 13th, the Angels were left kicking themselves for a multitude of opportunities lost.

"We had a lot of opportunities," Abreu said. "We didn't get the right hit."

Abreu is 0-for-9 in this series, with four strikeouts; Guerrero is 2-for-11 with four strikeouts.

"We're not getting it done in the batter's box right now in these first couple of games," Scioscia said. "But these guys can turn it around very quickly. They've hit for us all season. They'll hit here. You know, you have to just keep grinding it out. Torii has been as clutch as anybody in the league. Vlad, same way. And Bobby Abreu has been maybe our best offensive player. So there's no concern. But sure, we need these guys to start chipping in and doing their part. And we're very confident they will."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.