The Cleveland right-hander struck out eight while allowing just a leadoff double to
Jose Molina in the third. The only other baserunner to reach against Millwood was
Vladimir Guerrero, who was hit by a two-out pitch in the bottom of the first.
Figgins managed a ninth-inning single off Indians reliever Bob Wickman, when his
ground ball squirted past the outstretched glove of second baseman Ronnie Belliard,
but most of the night, the Angels sat and watched during their turns at-bat.
"There are going to be periods when you have dry spells in the field and dry spells
on the mound and dry spells in the batter's box," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I
think what is going on right now is everyone in our lineup is struggling to some
It is a struggle that would seem of greater urgency if the team were not performing
well in other areas. Fortunately for the Angels, the pitching staff has been pulling
its weight lately and the club can take solace in the fact it is still a game and
a half up in the American League West.
John Lackey did not have his fastball command early in Monday's game and it showed, as he allowed three early runs, two on solo homers. But the right-hander settled
down to go seven innings and maintain his line at three runs, enough to post a
victory, but only when the offense cooperates.
"You've never going to have nine guys that are swinging the bat well," Scioscia
said. "You hope to have one or two guys that are swinging it well enough."
The Angels saw their batting average over the last 14 games fall to .170 on Monday. More troubling, of the eight strikeouts, six were looking. An
aggressive lineup by nature, taking pitches is anathema to the Angels and getting
called out on strikes is rare for them.
"That is something that is very, very foreign to this team," Scioscia said. "The
hitter's counts that we got into, we did not square up on balls."
Erstad was caught looking twice and Figgins was called out on strikes with one down
in the third and Molina waiting to be driven in from second base.
"This is part of baseball," Figgins said of the team's offensive woes. "We're such a
good team it is way too early to get into a funk right now... No one is giving away
Scioscia agreed and is not ready to pick apart a lineup that has scored five or
fewer runs during the 14-game cold snap.
"There is no question about the effort of this group," Scioscia said. "Their
confidence is where it needs to be. They're just not matching it with production."
Clearly confident was Millwood (1-3), who hadn't recorded a win this season despite
allowing more than three earned runs in only one of his six starts this season. The
Angels are quiet offensively, but Scioscia felt there was more to it Monday than
simple struggles with the bat.
"You have to give credit to Kevin Millwood," Scioscia said. "He pitched about as
well as you can to this group. When he had a chance to put hitters away he made
Lackey (3-2) was bidding for his third straight win and though he did not feel he
had his best stuff, he was pleased with his effort. In holding with the popular
refrain of the evening, Lackey underscored that the club's confidence level remains
"We've got too many good players and too many good hitters to worry," said Lackey,
who took the loss. "In a season you go through cycles. We've been throwing the ball
pretty good and we've been winning games. There is going to be a cycle where these
guys are going to hit the ball well and we won't have to throw as well."
Travis Hafner got the Indians on the board when his RBI single drove in Coco Crisp
in the first. Crisp drilled his third home run of the year to lead off the third and
Belliard led off the fourth inning with his sixth homer of the year to put
the Indians up, 3-0.