Padres 8, Angels 6 …

Joe BlantonThis was, in some ways, Joe Blanton‘s first real start with the Angels.

The first time he pitched, he worked through hitters so quickly he had to finish it up in the bullpen. The second time, rain and hail came down at Tempe Diablo Stadium, prompting Blanton to hurry through three frames and, once again, finish up in the bullpen. On Wednesday, against the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex, Blanton finally got a full, healthy outing in, giving up a couple of runs on five hits in five innings, striking out two and throwing 55 pitches.

It didn’t really feel like a big jump in workload to Blanton, though.

“When you get hitters in there, it doesn’t really feel like as much,” he said. “You’re focused on making pitches, getting hitters out and what you’re working on. You’re not really thinking, ‘That’s a lot more pitches than I’m used to throwing.’ You just get in the groove of the game and go.”

Some more notes on the Angels’ 11th loss in 19 Cactus League games …

The good

Mike Trout went off, legging out a double and a triple, walking and scoring two runs.

Peter Bourjos did, too, with a long two-run homer and a single in three plate appearances.

Albert Pujols ran for himself on the bases for the first time — though he jogged lightly and didn’t have to do much. He grounded out, flied out to deep right field and hit a stand-up RBI double in three plate appearances, while serving as the designated hitter again.

The bad

Sean Burnett got hit around in his spring debut, giving up a couple runs on four singles and retiring only one of the five batters he faced.

Michael Kohn walked three batters and gave up four unearned runs in the eighth, getting charged with the loss and the blown save. His last time out, Kohn gave up four runs (three earned) in one third of an inning, with pitching coach Mike Butcher saying he was overthrowing.

Angels starters were sloppy on the field. Trout lost a fly ball in the sun, Josh Hamilton had a base hit go by him and Alberto Callaspo booted two grounders.

Best play (that I saw)

Padres center fielder Jaff Decker battled the tough Arizona sun and made a nice catch up against the wall in right-center field to end the fourth inning and rob Chris Iannetta of extra bases.

Best quote

Burnett, making no excuses for his rough spring debut: “I don’t care if it’s Spring Training or a pick-up game in the driveway. You want to do your best and put up zeroes. Today just wasn’t acceptable.”


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