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Angels are hitting, just not at the right time

April 19, 2011 |  2:02 pm

With 154 hits through 16 games, the Angels are just one hit behind the Kansas City Royals for the American League lead. Yet they're averaging just 3.8 runs a game; eight teams have done better than that.

The problem, Manager Mike Scioscia says, is the team's dismal performance with runners in scoring position. The Angels pounded out 10 hits in Monday's 7-1 loss to the Texas Rangers, for example, but scored just once because they were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. That dropped their season average to .226 with RISP.

And the numbers are even worse in the middle of the order where Vernon Wells is hitting .143 with RISP and Torii Hunter, who leads the team with 25 at-bats with RISP, is hitting just .200 in those situations.

On the other side, Mark Trumbo and Maicer Izturis are a combined 8 for 24 (.333) with eight runs batted in, while Alberto Callaspo is 4 for 9 with four RBIs.

As a result, just four other AL teams have left more runners on base than the Angels.

"As much as we’re encouraged at setting the table, we  have to do a better job with runners in scoring position," Scioscia said. "So there’s still some work to do. But this team is going to get better as we move on."


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Photo: Los Angeles Angels' Howard Kendrick (47) celebrates his solo home run with teammate Torii Hunter (48) during the third inning of an MLB baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., April 3, 2011. Credit: Orlin Wagner / AP