OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Anaheim Angels have made a cottage industry of their ultra-marketable Rally Monkey, crediting the jumping simian with their ability to come from behind to win 42 games this season.
So what happens when fans of opposing teams do bad things to said monkey? Apparently, the Angels come from ahead to lose.
After fans paraded around the pregame grounds of the Network Associates Coliseum with monkeys hanging in effigy, the Angels blew a three-run first-inning lead and fell to Oakland, 4-3, Monday night, dropping back into a first-place tie in the American League West with the Athletics.
The Angels' six-game winning streak came to an end when Miguel Tejada, with the crowd of 22,326 chanting "MVP, MVP," singled up the middle off Angel reliever Al Levine (4-4) in the ninth inning to score Ray Durham.
Oakland closer Billy Koch (10-3) got the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning. The Angels and Oakland are each 94-56 with three games remaining in the series.
Neither starter earned a decision.
The Angels' John Lackey gave up two runs, one earned, and four hits while throwing 101 pitches in five innings. The right-handed rookie walked five batters and struck out four.
Cory Lidle gave up three runs and five hits, two after the first inning, in seven innings for Oakland. The right-hander struck out three batters and walked two, one intentionally.
"He settled down and pitched a terrific ballgame," said Angel Manager Mike Scioscia of Lidle. "After (Troy) Glaus' home run, he put up a lot of zeros and got them back in the game.
"We just couldn't pressure them enough offensively to let our guys relax at the plate."
Apparently, it doesn't matter where Glaus bats in the Angel lineup these days.
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