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Angels pregame: Scioscia says no bullpen controversy, sticks with Fuentes

The Angels' 4-3 loss to the Tigers Thursday night seemed to ignite a closer controversy: the established guy who is coming off an injury versus the guy who more than filled his shoes while he was out.

But on Friday, Manager Mike Scioscia denounced just that. He stood by Brian Fuentes, who returned Thursday for his first appearance back from the disabled list and blew the save by giving up two runs in the ninth. 

The support seemed somewhat necessary as Fuentes left the field to boos. But even though Fernando Rodney, who filled in for Fuentes brilliantly by converting all five of his save chances, wasn't available because of his recent heavy workload, the fans surely wanted him instead of Fuentes.  

Still, Scioscia is sticking with the guy who last season led the major leagues with 48 saves in 55 chances. 

"It's not a controversy when somebody is throwing the ball as well as Fernando is," Scioscia said. "We're going to be a deep bullpen if Brian Fuentes is throwing the ball to his capabilities as he threw last year. Right now, there's no controversy."

When asked what Scioscia saw from Fuentes, aside from the home run he gave up to Miguel Cabrera and the other run scored on a soft single by Ramon Santiago, he said "It wasn't as crisp as it was in his rehab stint, it wasn't quite as crisp as what we saw opening night, but it's in there."

Here are the lineups, by the way:


Erick Aybar - SS
Bobby Abreu - RF
Torii Hunter - DH
Hideki Matsui - LF
Kendry Morales - 1B
Maicer Izturis - 2B
Mike Napoli - C
Brandon Wood - 3B
Reggie Willits - CF

Joe Saunders - P


Austin Jackson - CF
Johnny Damon - DH
Magglio Ordonez - RF
Miguel Cabrera - 1B
Carlos Guillen - LF
Brandon Inge - 3B
Gerald Laird - C
Scott Sizemore - 2B
Adam Everett - SS

Justin Verlander - P

--Baxter Holmes
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