ANAHEIM, Calif -- Koji Uehara got the blown save, but manager John Farrell said, if he had to do it over again, he would have brought the reliever in a batter earlier in Saturday's crushing 9-7, 11-inning loss Saturday night.
After Alex Wilson loaded the bases with two outs and a four-run lead, Farrell brought in Uehara to face Albert Pujols. Pujols singled home two runs with a soft single to center and Josh Hamilton added another single to right for another run.
The Angels then tied the game when Brandon Snyder's throw to second on a force play sailed into right field. The home team walked off two innings later on a two-run homer by Hamilton.
"I think the fact that (Uehara) comes into a situation where he had no room to maneuver (made it tough)," said Farrell. "You could say that even if he walks Pujols, it's (only) a run and we're still up three. In hindsight, if I'm going to use him, I should have brought him in for (Mike) Trout (whom Wilson hit as the final batter he faced, filling the bases) and give him that one open base to pitch a little bit more fine rather than have him be on the plate against a very good hitter.
"That's the one thing, in retrospect, if I could roll back the clock, I'd certainly like to do that."
Saturday was Uehara's second blown save since taking over the closer's role, but Farrell said the veteran has been a critical part of the bullpen and has exceeded expectations.
"He's exceeded (pre-season expectations) by being durable," said Farrell. "He feels like, when he got injured in the past, it was from not being used and then being used. He doesn't like when he has three or four days off. He's made the comment, 'I'm good to go six (days) in a row.' We certainly wouldn't do that, but that kind of shows what his mindset is and what he feels about a physical workload that keeps him as sharp as possible."
That said, having used Uehara in each of the first two games of the series, Farrell ruled him out for Sunday night.