02/28/11 6:30 PM EST
Pineiro continues spring success for Angels
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
The Angels' veteran right-hander continued a remarkable stretch of springtime work on Monday, handcuffing the Athletics for two innings in an 8-7 victory at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Pineiro is 10-0 in Spring Training competition since last absorbing a loss in 2006.
"I had no idea," Pineiro said, grinning.
Bobby Abreu, making his spring debut as the Angels' designated hitter, cracked a pair of doubles in three at-bats, driving in a run in the fourth after Peter Bourjos' double. Bourjos also bunted for a hit.
Vernon Wells, acquired over the winter from the Blue Jays, debuted in left field for the Angels and had a line-drive single in three at-bats.
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Hideki Matsui, in his Oakland debut as its designated hitter after spending last year with the Angels, flied out, struck out and walked with the bases loaded.
A's starter Dallas Braden lasted one inning in his first spring start, yielding two runs, one earned, on two hits and a walk. Left fielder Chris Carter committed two errors in the inning.
Maicer Izturis' single started the two-run first. Torii Hunter walked with one out and Carter dropped Wells' fly ball, loading the bases. Howard Kendrick lined a single to left center, driving in Izturis, and Hunter scored on Carter's throwing error.
Pineiro has made 24 spring appearances since his most recent loss in 2006 as a member of the Mariners.
"In my early years in Seattle, I wasn't so good," he said when asked about his spring success. "You learn to control yourself, not throw 95 [miles per hour] on every pitch. In the first inning, it was all sinkers. They got three fly balls, but the ball was moving enough. It's something to work off of moving forward."
A strained oblique suffered on July 28 cost Pineiro almost two months of his first season with the Angels in 2010. He finished 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 23 outings.
"I'm fine," he said. "I felt good. Sometimes you feel too good and want to throw harder than you should this early."
The A's managed a pair of singles in two innings, but Pineiro faced only one above the minimum, inducing a double play after Kevin Kouzmanoff's first of two singles in the second inning.
Free-agent reliever Scott Downs, in his first appearance for the Angels, followed Pineiro with a scoreless third inning.
Matt Palmer sailed through the fourth before the A's scored twice in the fifth on one-out singles by Michael Taylor and Steve Tolleson and consecutive two-out walks by Kurt Suzuki, Matsui and Conor Jackson. Southpaw Matt Meyer issued the passes to Matsui and Jackson before escaping.
Infielder Jean Segura, one of the Angels' premier prospects, was shaken up in a collision at first with Andy LaRoche during a three-run sixth inning. Known as "Mondy" to teammates for his resemblance to former slugger Raul Mondesi, Segura left the game, but was able to walk without needing assistance. Kevin Melillo's two-run double was the big blow of the inning.
The Angels added a pair of runs in the seventh. Andrew Romine doubled home a run after singles by Angel Castillo and Efren Navarro started the inning.
Right fielder Michael Taylor unloaded his first homer of the spring for the A's, a three-run blast in the eighth against right-hander Ryan Brasier. Jai Miller ended the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth inning.
Angels Up Next: The Angels send their ace, Jered Weaver, out for his Cactus League debut on Tuesday when they engage a Reds split squad at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Right-hander Johnny Cueto is set to go for manager Dusty Baker's club in the 12:05 p.m. PT game televised by FSW and MLB Network. Weaver, a first-time American League All-Star in 2010, led the Majors in strikeouts while compiling a career high in innings pitched. His goal this season is to make every start and advance deeper in games by getting more early-count outs. Razor-sharp command coupled with an ample supply of off-speed stuff form Weaver's calling card.
A's Up Next: Lefties Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez, making their Cactus League debuts, will team up for Tuesday's home opener against Cincinnati beginning at 12:05 p.m. PT at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Anderson is coming off a shortened season because of elbow issues and looking to prove consistent health this spring, while Gonzalez is ready to show his 2010 coming-out party is far from over. Both will be limited to 35 pitches. Among those scheduled to follow are newbie relievers Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.