John Lackey made it past 2 pitches last night and helped the Angels defeat the Mariners 10-6. Lackey wasn't at his best, but he's on the mound in a game that counted and that's all that matters. The real story was the Angels offense flexing their power. Juan Rivera hit his second homer of the season while Kendry Morales blasted two of his own.
Morales is really starting to show fans that the front office was correct in not being overly worried about the loss of Mark Teixeira. Morales has 25 RBI in his last 27 games, 16 of his last 28 hits have gone for extra-bases. Morales and Teixeira have very similar numbers at this point in the year with Kendry out-slugging the Yankees first baseman with a .551 mark.
Good news! Vladimir Guerrero and Kelvim Escobar will be starting rehab assignments this weekend with the Rancho Cucamunga Quakes. Guerrero will be unable to play right field (which is why he is not being activated sooner, this weekends games are under NL rules at Chavez Ravine) for some time to come but his bat is what the club really needs. He will be activated on Monday to face the Chicago White Sox.
Escobar is expected to throw about 60 pitches and the Angels want to get him extended to the 90-100 pitch range before he is deemed ready to return to the big club. The Angels aren't sure if they will need him in the rotation or in the bullpen.
Escobar tells the Times he'll do whatever the Angels need.
"I'll do whatever they want me to do," Escobar said. "It makes sense to [prepare as a starter] because it's easier to adjust to being a reliever. If I can throw 100 pitches, it's easy to throw 20 pitches. I would just have to get used to throwing every day."
Matt Palmer is the main reason the Angels might be able to use Escobar out of the bullpen. Tonight Palmer tries to extend his winning streak to 5 against Seattle. Only two others Jered Weaver (7) and Bo Belinsky (5) have gotten out to better starts than the 4-0 Palmer. Mark Saxon takes a look.
Howie Kendrick is struggling big time and a lot of Angel fans see what Brandon Wood is doing at AAA and also know Chone Figgins is capable of playing second-base. Thus they are starting to wonder why Mike Scioscia is not making a change. Kendrick was in the middle of the Angels go ahead rally last night and hopefully it's a sign of better things to come. LA Times blogger Steve Bisheff still believes in the talented Mr. Kendrick.
Los Angeles has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with reliever Rudy Seanez. Seanez will be assigned to extended spring training in Arizona before heading to Salt Lake City.
Tonight at Mariners
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Matt Palmer (4-0, 3.38) vs Felix Hernandez (4-2, 3.53)