03/11/11 6:02 PM ET
Wilson, Conger deliver last licks vs. D-backs
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Before big Wily Mo Pena capped a four-run eighth inning with a two-run homer that gave the D-backs an 8-7 edge before 8,038 at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Mark Trumbo continued to plunder Cactus League pitching in support of Angels ace Jered Weaver, who rarely received such offensive support last season.
Weaver cruised through four innings, yielding three runs (two earned) on four hits and departing with a four-run lead. The 2010 Major League leader in strikeouts, Weaver sent five of the first six men he faced back to the dugout and finished with six whiffs.
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Angels
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"Another step in the right direction," Weaver said in the afterglow of his third spring start. "I was getting a little tired in the third. It's expected. The endurance to get back to going six, seven, eight, nine is getting there. It'll be there soon."
Asked if he'd settle for seven runs of support every start this year, Weaver grinned. "That'd be nice," he said.
With former Angels lefty Joe Saunders bowing out of the start because of an illness, southpaw Wade Miley was pressed into service by Arizona and yielded five earned runs on eight hits in three innings.
In the third, Arizona put together consecutive hits from the bottom third of the order -- Juan Miranda, Henry Blanco and Gerardo Parra -- and all three scored, one on an error by third baseman Maicer Izturis.
The Angels regained the lead in the bottom of the third on singles by Vernon Wells and Erick Aybar and Trumbo's towering home run to left, his fourth of the spring. Trumbo, playing first base while Kendrys Morales recovers from left ankle surgery, leads the Cactus League in total bases with 31 and RBIs with 11. He's also the co-leader in home runs. He's batting .389.
Wilson continued to sizzle with three singles and two doubles, giving him 10 hits in his past 14 at-bats and raising his average to .584.
Fernando Rodney and Scott Downs each pitched a perfect inning in relief of Weaver, the Angels having added a pair of runs in the fourth, before Arizona mounted its late rally.
The D-backs added a run in the seventh against Tyler Chatwood on Parra's RBI single with two away. Brandon Allen's RBI double and Cody Ransom's single, accompanied by a fielding error in center by Tyson Auer, made it a one-run game in the eighth.
Pena then unloaded his blast to center against Chatwood for his third homer of the spring, before the Angels rallied in the ninth to make a winner of Jeremy Berg.
The Angels improved to 7-8 in Cactus League play while the D-backs fell to 5-12.
Up next for D-backs: The D-backs have a day-night doubleheader Saturday. They will take on the Brewers at 1:05 p.m. MT at Maryvale Baseball Park and the Rockies at 6:40 p.m. at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The two games will feature pitchers competing for the final spots in the rotation, with Zach Duke starting against the Brewers and Aaron Heilman getting the assignment against the Rockies.
Up next for Angels: With his homeland dealing with the natural disaster of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, Tokyo native Hisanori Takahashi is expected to take the mound on Saturday for his third appearance in an Angels uniform when they face the Indians in Goodyear at 1:05 p.m. PT. Dan Haren, coming off three hitless innings against the Cubs, makes his third Cactus League start, opposing right-hander Fausto Carmona. Takahashi, relieved by the news that his family members were unharmed by the earthquake, has given up no runs and three hits with no walks in three spring innings, striking out two.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.