SCOTTSDALE – It was a pitcher’s duel with little amount of base runners or strikeouts. Some may find that as a snooze fest on a Monday afternoon, but for Angels fans, it was a high-note. We also saw history for the Los Angeles Angels who topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2.
In the top of the second, following a walk, Luis Jimenez was caught stealing at second. Angels bench coach Dino Ebel was on the walkie-talkie and signaled to manager Mike Scioscia by lifting his cap to “challenge” the play. After the umpires went to the instant replay, it was proven the call on the field was right, and Scioscia lost the first challenge in Angels Spring Training history. Jimenez finished the day going 2-for-4.
The prior time that an Angels player was used in a “challenge” scenario, C.J. Cron was called safe at first after originally being called out during the Arizona Fall League. Cron had two plate appearances in today’s game, going 1-for-2 with a single and strikeout.
Angels relievers; Ernesto Frieri, Matt Shoemaker, Cory Rasmus, and Nick Maronde pitched near perfect five innings of relief work. The perfection was broken by a walk (the only base runner in relief for the Angels) from Maronde to Jon Griffin.
Garrett Richards got the start for the Angels and performed well in his first appearance of the Spring. Richards worked a quick three innings, allowing two hits and struck out a pair, both on his curveball. Richards maintained good command on his off-speed pitches and didn’t miss much on his fastball. A tight strike zone held Richards to two strikeouts, but he painted the corners well and had two questionable calls on fastballs called balls that looked like they painted the strike zone.
Opposite of Richards was Brandon McCarthy for the Diamondbacks. McCarthy went five full innings, allowing three hits while walking one and striking out a pair.
The Angels lone run came from the bat of J.B. Shuck, with the help of a throwing error. Kole Calhoun walked with one out in the sixth, and advanced to third base on a pickoff throw that landed in right field. Soon after, J.B. Shuck sent a fly ball to right field, and Calhoun came out the winner at a close play at home plate. Jimenez was thrown out by former Angels catcher, Bobby Wilson, and the challenge lasted two minutes, and 31 seconds.
Shuck came home as the second run of the day on a squeeze bunt from John Hester.
In the ninth, the Angels rallied for a run brought home by Andrew Romine. Singles from Luis Jimenez and C.J. Cron landed runners on the corners for Romine who singled through the infield to center to make it a 3-0 game.
Grant Green became a pinch hitter in the seventh and leadoff the inning with a double. Green went 1-for-2 on the day and is now 4-for-6 with three doubles this Spring.
The Diamondbacks gave the Angels a scare in the ninth at the expense of Josh Wall. Wall back-to-back singles to Tyler Bortnick and Socrates Brito after striking out the leadoff man. Nick Ahmed brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly to center. He was followed by Rudy Flores who hit one off the batter’s eye in center, bringing home another with an RBI double. Wall however, struck out Brandon Jacobs to end the game with the Angels on top 3-2.
Final from Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona:
Angels, 3 Diamondbacks, 0
W – Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 0.00)
L – Eury de la Rosa (0-1, 4.50)
S – Josh Wall (1, 10.80)
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