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Angels explode for early 8-run lead, hang on to beat Giants

The Angels were on their way to a blowout victory before relievers Adam Cimber and Roansy Contreras allowed the Giants to get back in the game in the eighth, but closer Carlos Estévez finished off the 8-6 win in the ninth

The Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe, center, and Kevin Pillar, right, are congratulated by Jo Adell after scoring during the third inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night in San Francisco. The Angels built an early 8-0 lead then held on for an 8-6 win. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
The Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe, center, and Kevin Pillar, right, are congratulated by Jo Adell after scoring during the third inning of their game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night in San Francisco. The Angels built an early 8-0 lead then held on for an 8-6 win. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
Associate mug of Jeff Fletcher, Angels reporter, sports.

Date shot: 09/26/2012 . Photo by KATE LUCAS /  ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
UPDATED:

SAN FRANCISCO — There are no ugly victories for the Angels this season.

The Angels aren’t about to apologize for their 8-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, even though they had an eight-run lead in the fourth inning.

“We swung the bats well,” Manager Ron Washington said, “and way the game turned out, we needed it. We did a good job of passing the baton tonight.”

The hitters successfully built a big lead, and then relievers Adam Cimber and Roansy Contreras nearly blew it, allowing five runs in the eighth. Closer Carlos Estévez worked a perfect ninth to finish off a save in a game when he likely didn’t think he’d be needed.

Eight of the Angels’ nine starters had a hit or a walk by third inning, and by the fourth it was 8-0.

The Angels scored a run in the second, three in the third and then four in the fourth, with the bottom half of the order doing all of the damage.

Logan O’Hoppe, Zach Neto and Mickey Moniak – batting fifth through seventh – reached base safely in eight of their nine trips in those three innings. The only out was when Neto dropped down a sacrifice bunt.

Moniak had two doubles and a triple, a night after he drove in the Angels’ only run and walked twice. Moniak, who has been in a slump for most of the season, now has a hit in his last six games.

“I just see the progression,” Washington said. “It’s working. The things that he’s been working on are coming to fruition now. We are looking for that consistency where you bring it every single day. And we just hope that’s what’s going to happen, because he has something in him. He does have it in him. We’ve just got to make sure we continue to get it out of him.”

Neto hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his ninth of the season and second of the week. He also had a homer overturned on review, settling for a double on Wednesday in Arizona.

Tyler Anderson was the beneficiary of the Angels’ robust offensive performance, and it was on a night when he got by without his best stuff.

Anderson gave up one run in 5⅓ innings, working around five walks and five hits.

“I felt pretty good, like, stuff-wise,” Anderson said. “I just kept missing arm side a lot on everything, falling behind and trying to get back into the count, which is not where you want to be. One of those days the process isn’t great, but we’ll take the results.”

Anderson walked two in the first inning, but stranded them. He issued another walk to lead off the second, and then he allowed a bloop single.

In the fourth, just after the Angels took an 8-0 lead, Anderson gave up two straight singles and then a walk to load the bases with no outs. He limited the damage with a double play and a strikeout, allowing only one run.

Even though it wasn’t one of his better outings, the minimized the damage enough to drop his ERA to 2.58. He’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 14 starts. This was only the fourth start in which he didn’t finish the sixth inning.

 

Anderson’s relatively early exit and the large cushion provided the perfect spot for the Angels to use Ben Joyce, who has been trying to work through some issues in his first outings of the season.

Joyce pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings, working around two walks. Joyce also threw four sinkers, a new addition to go along with 100 mph four-seam fastball and his 85 mph slider.

After the Cimber-Contreras debacle in the eighth, Estévez entered to settle the game down. He has now had five straight perfect outings, lowering his season ERA to 3.86. He’s converted 11 of 14 save opportunities.

He said the difference has been pretty simple to identify.

“We went back and watch some video and we saw where I was way better last year with the command of my fastball,” Estévez said. “I think that’s been the key. I’m keeping the fastball not in the middle of the plate. I think that’s been the difference.”

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