The Los Angeles Angels’ shaky bullpen was a primary factor in the squad’s mediocre 2010 campaign, and it appears that some of that unreliability has carried over into 2011.
Fernando Rodney, Jordan Walden, and Kevin Jepsen gave up a combined five runs in the late innings on Wednesday, allowing the White Sox to overcome a 4-1 deficit and eventually win the game in the tenth inning by a 6-4 final score.
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In the eighth, Rodney gave up a run on an Omar Vizquel RBI double to make the score 4-2 heading into the ninth, where rookie closer Walden would try to finish the game with the lead intact. Walden allowed the White Sox to tie the game before getting the final out of the ninth.
In the tenth inning, Jepsen, who was making his first appearance since being demoted to the minor leagues on April 10, gave up the first go-ahead run to the White Sox on a wild pitch while intentionally walking Paul Konerko. The second came on a sacrifice fly to Peter Bourjos, whose throw to home was not in time stop Adam Dunn from scoring.
All of this came in spite of a relatively fortunate outing by rookie starter Tyler Chatwood, who allowed one earned run on eight hits by Chicago, escaping his fair share of jams along the way.
It was the second blown save of the season for Walden, who blew his first save against Boston on May 4 in a wild 13-inning affair that Los Angeles won.