Looks like the baseball gods finally smiled upon Joe Blanton as the right-hander rode a bit of luck to a victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Oops, did I speak to soon?
Blanton was denied a win yet again, this time thanks to a blown save by the usually reliable Ernesto Frieri, who yielded three runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 6-6.
The eventual 9-10 loss completed a three-game series sweep suffered by the Los Angeles Angels (33-43), who have now betrayed Blanton (1-10, 5.26 ERA) in three of his previous four starts despite solid outings on all three occasions for the man who the Angels had hoped would be a consistent third pitcher in their rotation.
On Sunday, Blanton gave up three runs through 7.1 innings, only one of them earned. The other two resulted from a fielding error in the third inning by Howie Kendrick. At first, the Angels were fortunate to benefit from three costly Pirate errors, two of which fueled Los Angeles’ five-run second inning.
But fortune would not stay with the Angels for long, as Blanton’s six-strikeout performance was flushed down the drain by way of a ninth-inning Pittsburgh rally. At a time in which confidence should be at a premium for Angels pitchers, the team’s betrayals of Blanton are not likely to do wonders for the right-hander’s belief in his teammates.
The Halos will have to put this embarrassment behind them as they get a day of rest before hitting the road for a three-game stand vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.