Halos miss out on chances to break game open

Halos miss out on chances to break game open

PHOENIX -- In two consecutive innings of Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the D-backs, the Angels had runners on second and third base with no outs.

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It's almost a certainty in that situation at least one run is going to score. Many times, it can lead to a big inning with numerous runs coming crossing the plate.

But for the Angels, that wasn't the case. In the sixth inning, just one run came into score. In the seventh, both the runners on second and third were left standing there to end the inning.

"It's just part of the game. What can you do?" Angels first baseman Albert Pujols said. "Obviously everybody that goes out there would love to get a base hit with men on base, but it didn't happen. We got our chance, just sometimes that doesn't happen."

The Angels were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight baserunners, all after the third inning.

Trailing, 3-1, entering the sixth, Kole Calhoun singled to center and Mike Trout followed with a double to right. Calhoun then scored on a Pujols groundout. But Johnny Giavotella later lined out to leave runners on first and third with the Angels trailing by a run.

The following inning, Chris Iannetta hit a leadoff single and pinch-hitter Efren Navarro belted a ground-rule double to right-center. Erick Aybar then tried to bunt for a hit, but he popped it back up to D-backs reliever David Hernandez.

Calhoun then flied out and Trout grounded out, as the Angels couldn't capitalize on their best opportunity of the night.

"This game isn't on one player or situation. We had numerous opportunities, and that's the frustrating part," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just couldn't push over the run or two that we needed. I don't think it comes down to one inning or one play."

Joyce triples in the 8th

Scioscia wasn't completely disappointed with his offense, despite only producing two runs. The Angels rattled off 11 hits, including a pair each from Matt Joyce and Iannetta, who are both hitting below .200.

Joyce was 2-for-3 with a triple and reached base three times after batting .162 in the first 14 games of June.

"His upside is really important to us, and hopefully we'll start to see it come," Scioscia said.

Starter Hector Santiago exited after allowing three runs in five-plus innings. Then, the Angels' bullpen pitched a trio of scoreless innings to keep it a one-run game.

But the Angels' bats couldn't plate any more runs despite having the leadoff hitter reach base in four innings, including when Iannetta singled to open the ninth. D-backs closer Brad Ziegler induced a double play against pinch-hitter Kyle Kubitza and Aybar grounded out to end the game.

"You need to give credit to the pitchers, too. They make a good pitch and get out of a jam," Pujols said. "That's the way it goes. It's part of the game. There's nothing you can do about it, just flip the page."

Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.