Game #73 at Los Angeles

Angel Stadium | 10:05 | Duke vs. Joe Saunders | Box

I’m not a fan of the late, West Coast start times. I’m even less of a fan when the games go extras.
And I’m certainly not a fan of losing those extra-inning games the way we did tonight.
At one point, the Angels retired 19 Pittsburgh Pirates in a row. Los Angeles’ bullpen threw five innings of one-hit ball; after scoring four runs in the first three frames, the Pirates were blanked over the final eight.
Zach Duke allowed 11 baserunners—nine hits, two walks—in his 5.1 innings, but managed to limit the Angels to one run. Masumi Kuwata needed only seven pitches to record two outs in the sixth. Returning from suspension, Matt Capps threw the ninth and tenth, yielding one hit and no runs.
Rajai Davis was a game-changer at the top of the lineup, going 2 for 4 with an RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Jose Bautista went 0 for 4 batting second; he looks tired.
Jonah Bayliss took the loss when Orlando Cabrera singled home Chone Figgins from third in the bottom of the eleventh inning.  Figgins had tripled with one out.
Josh Phelps is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles tomorrow in time for Saturday night’s game. The Pirates will have to free up a spot on the active roster, but no players will need to be removed from the 40-man. Dejan implies that another reliever might be sent to Indy.
Pre-game Thoughts
The Angels are one of the hottest teams in baseball after getting off to a slow start in April.
Los Angeles is the second best team in the American League, currently behind the Red Sox by only two games in the loss column. The Angels’ staff leads the league in strikeouts, and they have the second best offense—by average—on the junior circuit.
Joe Saunders is replacing injured starter Jered Weaver, brother of Jeff and a tough young righty. The Bucs don’t get much of a break, though, as Saunders is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA. He’s walked (12) more batters than he’s struck out (11), but the Pirates aren’t the most disciplined team, so we’ll have to wait to see if the bats can take advantage and draw a few free passes.
Pittsburgh hasn’t scored since the seventh inning on Tuesday.

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Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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