Angels beat Padres, 9-6
Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells hit their first home runs of the spring, back-to-back solo shots, and Mark Trumbo capped a four-run fourth-inning rally with a two-run homer in the Angels’ 9-6 exhibition victory over the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Trumbo, the team’s likely opening-day first baseman if Kendrys Morales (broken leg) is not ready to start the season, reached for a low-and-away, 0-and-2 pitch from left-hander Wade LeBlanc and drove it over the left-center-field fence for his fifth homer of the spring, tying him for the major league lead.
The former Villa Park High standout also made a nice defensive play in the fifth, fielding Brad Hawpe’s grounder and throwing to second to start a 3-6-3 double play.
Brandon Wood, who could be battling Trumbo for a roster spot, also drove a home run far over the left-field wall in the sixth inning, his second of the spring. Wood entered with a .167 average (six for 36) in his first 11 games.
"We put some good swings on the ball -- those were all hit well," Manager Mike Scioscia said of the home runs. "It's good to see Torii and Vernon square some balls up. Trumbo didn't get all of it, but that shows his strength."
Right-hander Joel Pineiro was tagged for four runs and eight hits, including two-run homers by Eric Patterson and Ryan Ludwick, in four innings, striking out five and walking one.
Pineiro threw 72 pitches, several of them up in the zone, “and you saw the consequences of that,” he said. But the sinkerball specialist also used far more sliders, changeups and curves in an effort to hone his off-speed pitches for the season.
“I haven’t thrown that many this spring, and you don’t want to practice those during the season,” Pineiro said. “There’s no secret to what I do. They know the sinker is coming. But sometimes you have to throw more sliders, changeups and curves.”
Pineiro still has not lost a spring-training game since 2006, a span of 27 appearances, 17 of them starts.
“I hope I get some rollover minutes,” Pineiro said. “I want to take that streak into the season.”
--Mike DiGiovanna in Peoria, Ariz.
Photo: Starting pitcher Joel Pineiro #35 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the San Diego Padres during the spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 15, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images