Angels defeat San Diego Padres, 7-6
Bobby Abreu slugged his first two home runs of the spring, and the Angels beat up their former pitcher Dustin Moseley on Friday, defeating the San Diego Padres, 7-6, before a sellout crowd at Diablo Stadium.
Brandon Wood added a two-run blast in the fourth inning, as the Angels evened their spring record at 11-11 with 8,778 in attendance.
Showcasing a lineup full of everyday players a day after getting blanked on two hits with just Peter Bourjos starting, the Angels began a stretch of games aimed for them to settle in for their March 31 season opener at Kansas City.
Maicier Izturis immediately gave the Angels a glimpse of what they’re hoping for from their leadoff hitter, striking a first-inning single to center, stealing second and taking third on a wild pitch before Howie Kendrick knocked him in on a sacrifice fly to center.
Abreu then complemented the little-ball attack by driving an opposite-field homer over the left-field wall off Moseley, who’s campaigning for the Padres’ No. 5 spot in the rotation.
In the second, Moseley gave up a leadoff double to Alberto Callaspo, a run-scoring triple to Erick Aybar and a run-scoring single by Jeff Mathis to swell the lead to 4-1.
Angels starter Ervin Santana wiggled out of a man-on-third jam by striking out San Diego cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick in the first before surrendering a solo homer to left by Kevin Frandsen and a leadoff double to Will Venable in the third that cut the Angels’ lead to 4-2.
Batting ninth, Wood cracked Moseley for a high fly that carried just over the fence in left-center for a 6-2 lead, leaving the ex-Angel touched for six earned runs.
Wood also started a ninth-inning double play that got San Diego speedster Luis Durango off the basepaths to clinch the victory.
“Woody, he’s doing things all right,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “No doubt, he has more confidence than last year.”
Abreu, after hitting a single in the third, then greeted Padres reliever Greg Burke by striking his second homer, this one to right-center.
With slugger Kendrys Morales’ return date still unknown as he recovers from last year’s fractured leg, Scioscia said he likes the idea of using Abreu as the No. 3 batter in the early-going.
“He sets the table and passes the baton, with him ahead of Torii [Hunter] and Vernon [Wells],” Scioscia said.
Santana expressed satisfaction with his four innings of work, striking out three with four hits allowed. He said his fastball-slider combination worked well, and noted he slipped in about five split-finger fastballs that he plans to employ once the season begins.
“Why not? I think I can use it,” Santana said afterward. “Confuse, confuse. … I see that little bite, it’s working where it’s supposed to be at. … I’ll count on one hand how many times I’ll use it [per game].”
-- Lance Pugmire in Tempe, Ariz.
Photo: San Diego Padres' Will Venable, right, steals second as Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar waits for the throw during the first inning of a spring training baseball game in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, March 18, 2011. Credit: Chris Carlson / AP