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Malfunctioning clutch is slowing Angels offense

April 16, 2010 |  4:02 pm

Manager Mike Scioscia says the Angels offense is "not hitting on all cylinders." A quick look under the hood of the 3-7 team reveals an obvious problem: the clutch.

In the team's three victories, the Angels have hit .353 (12 for 34) with runners in scoring position. In their seven losses, they have hit .151 (8 for 53) with runners in scoring position. The Angels set a franchise record by hitting .297 with runners in scoring position last season.

Second baseman Howie Kendrick entered Friday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a .281 average but is batting .125 (1 for 8) with runners in scoring position. Hideki Matsui has a .316 average but a .231 mark (3 for 13) with runners in scoring position.

Bobby Abreu has a .256 average but is batting .143 (1 for 7) with runners in scoring position. Jeff Mathis is hitting .333 overall but .125 (1 for 8) with runners in scoring position. The .333 marks by Torii Hunter (3 for 9) and Erick Aybar (2 for 6) are the best among Angels regulars with runners in scoring position.

"Right now, we're maybe taking ourselves out of some counts," Scioscia said. "Not as a group -- some guys have had good approaches with runners in scoring position. But I think we're getting a little too aggressive and giving counts back to pitchers. Guys are trying to get comfortable in the box, but as a group, we might be expanding the zone a bit."

--Mike DiGiovanna in Toronto

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