Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Guerrero Injured as Halo Offense Explodes

Eight games into the new season the Angels vaunted offense finally showed-up Tuesday night to pound Texas Ranger pitching for 14 hits and 13 runs. The 13-8 drubbing showed signs of potentially getting away as the LA bullpen coughed-up five runs before Scot Shields came in to slam the door, throwing one hit ball over the last 1.1 innings, getting all four outs via the strikeout.

Vladimir Guerrero was injured during a steal attempt in the third inning. Guerrero was hit on the knee as he slid into third base by a throw from Ranger catcher Rod Barajas. The ball got away from Texas third baseman Hank Blalock and Guerrero scored on the play. Guerrero stayed in the game and scored his thid run of the game in the top of the fourth but was replaced defensively by Juan Rivera. Guerrero is listed as day-to-day.

Pitcher John Lackey was his mediocre self, barely making it five innings, thanks in large part to a big 8 run cushion the Halos' offense provided. More disconcerting than Lackey's typical April outing was Brendan Donnelly's third poor performance in four games, giving up two runs and three hits in just two innings of work. Donnelly, in his fourth year with the Angels, has a career 2.23 ERA but so far this season is sporting one at nearly 8. The rigt-handed hurler has just one walk in 5.2 innings so far in 2005 which suggests his problem is not control. Donnelly is just throwing too many hittable pitches, surrendering 9 hits and five runs in less than six innings pitched. While a 7.94 ERA is usually nothing to worry about this early in the season, it is unusual for Donnelly to have so many bad outings rather than just the odd nightmare inning that ravages early-season statistics. Those of you who had "4" in the "how many outings until Esteban Yan blows-up" can take your tickets to the cashier. He done blown-up reeeeal good. Yan, who had given up just one hit in 5.1 innings going into his fourth game of the season, was tagged for 4 hits and 3 earned runs in the eighth inning. The late rally from Texas cut the Angels lead to 8 runs to 5 so Mike Scioscia called on Scot Shields to get the final out in the eighth and close out the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

On the positive side, the Angels offense hit on on cylinders Wednesday. Despite the 13 point outburst, the Angels did not have a single homerun in the game. Darin Erstad had two hits including a triple while Anderson, Quinlan, Figgins and Rivera all doubled.

The bealeaguered Angels starting staff suffered their second rough game in a row as John Lackey joined Jarrod Washburn as Ranger whipping boys. But help could be on the way as Kelvim Escobar is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment against A's affiliate Modesto on Thursday. Barring any setbacks Escobar will make his Angel debut on April 19th in Anaheim against the Mariners.

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