Angels slow down streaking Rockies

BY foxsports • June 24, 2009

The Colorado Rockies shouldn't have been too upset after losing for only the second time in 19 games. It was the way they lost that left everyone in the clubhouse as glum as a team on a 10-game skid.

Bobby Abreu drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning after third baseman Ian Stewart messed up two bunt plays, and the Los Angeles Angels won 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Rockies had won six straight overall and a club-record nine in a row on the road.

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"We're a good ballclub and we don't give up," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "When you beat a team like that, the hottest team in baseball, that says something. That was big for us."

The victory, coupled with Texas' 8-2 loss at Arizona, put the two-time defending AL West champions into a first-place tie for the first time since their opening day win against Oakland.

Troy Tulowizki's two home runs and three RBIs helped Ubaldo Jimenez (6-7) take a 3-2 lead into the eighth. He walked Jeff Mathis leading off the inning, and Erick Aybar was credited with a bunt single after Stewart fielded the ball up the line and looked toward second before throwing late to first.

"When (Stewart) fielded the ball on the first bunt and looked to second, you've got to be mindful of who's going down the line," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who is 19-6 since replacing Clint Hurdle said. "If you get the out at first base, it changes the complexion of the entire inning."

Chone Figgins followed with a bunt toward the mound and Jimenez got it to third in time for an apparent force, but Stewart didn't have his foot on the bag when he took the throw. Abreu, 2 for 17 before that at-bat, worked the count to 3-1 before singling to right.

"Jimenez made a terrific play on the bunt that followed. And if we're on the bag, we've got an out at third base," Tracy said. "But we didn't get either one, which set up the dramatics for them to get the big hit. It's obviously a tough game to lose."

Juan Rivera homered for the Angels and Kevin Jepsen (2-2) pitched a perfect eighth for the victory. Former Rockies closer Brian Fuentes got three outs for his 20th save in 23 chances, tying San Diego's Heath Bell for the major league lead.

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