ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A.J. Burnett and Ryan Howard have grown familiar with the frustration they felt after the Philadelphia Phillies blew another lead in yet another loss.
Missed opportunities are the theme of the Phillies’ season – but they insist it isn’t over yet.
Howie Kendrick delivered a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning, and Jered Weaver pitched six resilient innings in the Los Angeles Angels’ 4-3 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday night.
Brennan Boesch drove in two runs as the Angels swept a two-game series with the last-place Phillies, who have lost five of six. Philadelphia had a sixth-inning lead in both games at the Big A, but couldn’t keep it.
“It’s definitely been frustrating,” said Howard, who struck out with a runner on to end the seventh in his first career trip to Angel Stadium. “I mean, nobody signs up to come out and have the season that we’re having. It’s unfortunate. The guys come out every day with a positive attitude and compete, but it hasn’t gone our way. We’ve just got to keep working and try to come together and go from there.”
Marlon Byrd and Jimmy Rollins had early run-scoring singles for the Phillies, who have lost nine straight games to the Angels since 2003. That’s their longest losing streak against a team since 2005 and their longest active skid against any team.
“We outhit them 11-6, and we had some walks in there, but we weren’t able to come up with the big bat to drive in a crooked number,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. “Weaver mixed it up and changed speeds real well.”
Weaver (13-7) yielded two runs and eight hits for the Angels, improving to 6-1 in his last 10 starts.
“You keep this team in the game, and the offense is going to come through,” said Weaver, who improved to 16-4 in interleague play. “If you can limit those guys, we’ll always have a chance.”
One night after Los Angeles scored seven runs in the sixth, it scored three more against Burnett (6-13), who had shut down the Angels in the first five.
Albert Pujols started the rally with a one-out double, and Kendrick’s bases-loaded bloop landed just inside the right-field line. Boesch, recalled from the minors Tuesday, then added an RBI groundout. He also had a sacrifice fly in the second.
Burnett gave up five hits and four walks over six innings, dropping to 0-5 in his last six starts.
“I don’t feel snakebit,” Burnett said. “It’s in my control. I mean, it definitely hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to. I’m very discouraged. I’m not going to lie. I’m not a bit happy, but the season is not over.”
Grady Sizemore tripled and scored on Domonic Brown’s groundout in the eighth against Joe Smith, but Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
Mike Trout went 0 for 4, capping an ugly 4-for-29 homestand for the Angels’ MVP candidate. Trout, who grew up a Phillies fan in southern New Jersey, saw his average drop from .305 to .294 in seven games.
Jimmy Rollins stole two bases for Philadelphia, giving him 23 steals this season and surpassing his total from 2013. Leadoff hitter Ben Revere stole his 33rd base, but also was picked off first by Weaver after his game-opening single.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs had elbow ligament replacement surgery Wednesday. He won’t return until 2016. Reliever Mike Morin, who cut his foot, is scheduled to pitch in the minors Thursday, hoping to return to the Angels on Saturday.
Phillies: After a travel day, Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.37 ERA) takes the mound in San Francisco.
Angels: After a day off, Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.54 ERA) opens a weekend series at Texas.