ANAHEIM -- C.J. Wilson gave up just two runs in eight innings, and the Angels' offense finally came to life against the Rockies' bullpen, scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to notch a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
The Rockies have now lost 10 straight games, dropping them to 11-18. The Angels, winners of five of their last seven, are 16-17.
With one out in the eighth and runners on first and second against reliever Rafael Betancourt, Johnny Giavotella ripped an RBI single to right field to put the Angels on top. Matt Joyce, sporting a .135 batting average, followed with a two-run double to right-center field to extend the lead.
Rockies right-hander Kyle Kendrick entered with an 8.73 ERA, the highest among qualified Major League starters, but he matched Wilson pitch for pitch while holding the Angels to two runs in seven innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Showing off the wheels:Albert Pujols snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a leadoff single in the eighth. He then stole his first base of the season, and 99th of his career, with a huge jump off Betancourt, who never even looked at first base. Three batters later, Giavotella ripped a single to give the Angels their first lead.
"That was a big play; heads-up play by him," Giavotella said of Pujols. "He's a veteran in this game; he takes chances when the game calls for it." More >
Clearly, the workhorse, and in control: Kendrick allowed just two earned runs as he went seven innings for the third time this season. The rest of the Rockies' rotation has combined for one seven-inning outing. He walked none for the third time in seven starts. Kendrick is the only Rockies pitcher with a no-walk start.
"It's always good to keep your team in the game," Kendrick said. "Every game, I want to go out, and go as deep as I can. I got in a groove early, and I kind of stuck with it. Obviously, the main thing is to win. I hope we go out and get a win tomorrow." More >
Not so fast: With one on, two outs and the top of the Rockies' order up, Wilson picked off second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, ending the seventh and keeping the Angels' starter at 100 pitches. Wilson then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, dropping his ERA to 2.63. He's gone at least six innings and given up two runs or fewer in five of his seven starts. More >
Giving him double trouble: Coming into the game, left-handed batters were hitting just .167 (7-for-42) with two doubles against Wilson. In the Rockies' half of the fourth inning, Justin Morneau, a lefty, doubled to left with one out. Two batters later, lefty Corey Dickerson doubled to right to score Morneau, and put the Rockies up, 2-0.
"I thought that was a good sign," manager Walt Weiss said. "I know Wilson is tough on left-handed hitters, but we're a fairly left-handed offensive club. So, we ran our guys out there, anyway. We'll still mix and match at times."
"'Johnny the Entertainer.' That's what we're calling him. He waits until the fans are really into it. Rally Monkey, big situation, winning run on base -- something like that. He's got a great approach." -- Wilson on Giavotella, who continues to come through in clutch situations
"[Mike Trout] is an extremely dynamic player, very physical. The power and speed he brings to the game, you don't see that often. You see it once in a while." -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss on the Angels' center fielder, who he compared favorably to his former A's teammate, Jose Canseco
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Giavotella's eighth-inning single gave the Angels' second baseman six game-winning RBIs, one of which came in walk-off fashion. The only American League player with more is Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz, with seven. Giavotella is now 10-for-18 in what Baseball-Reference deems "late-and-close" situations.
Angels corner outfielders Matt Joyce and Kole Calhoun each turned in a highlight-reel play on Wednesday. Joyce caught Wilin Rosario's fly ball despite banging into the fence in left-field foul territory and Calhoun dove full extension in shallow right field to rob Charlie Blackmon of a hit in the fifth.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Right-hander Jordan Lyles will try to improve his road fortunes Wednesday night as the Rockies conclude their two-game series against the Angels. Lyles is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three starts away from Coors Field -- 2-3, 4.42 overall. Game time is 8:05 p.m. MT.
Angels: Lefty Hector Santiago opposes Lyles in hopes of continuing a strong start to his second season with the Angels. Santiago threw 6 1/3 one-hit innings on Thursday, shutting the Astros out despite walking four batters. He's given up three runs or fewer in five of his six starts, putting his ERA at 2.57.