9/8/2013 1:51 A.M. ET
Angels rolling with runners in scoring position
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Production with runners in scoring position was one of the Angels' biggest problems in the early portion of the season.
Lately, though, they've been on a hot stretch.
Over their previous 12 games heading into Saturday, the Angels have hit a Major League-best .385 with runners in scoring position (37-for-96). For the season, that puts them seventh in the Majors in batting average (.264) and 10th in OPS (.737) with runners in scoring position. In terms of productive outs -- accounting for a sac bunt by a pitcher, advancing a runner with none out or driving in a run with one out -- they're tied for 10th, with 471.
Thanks in part to that, they've won 11 of 14.
"I think overall, we've been a little inconsistent with our situational hitting, particularly guys in scoring position," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose team was 24th in the Majors with runners in scoring position at the end of April. "We've done a good job of scoring runs with outs this year. But as far as what's fueling these last couple weeks, it starts with the pitching, and we've done a great job of situational hitting. We're not really killing the ball out of the park, but I think we're doing a good job with guys on base and putting the ball in play and hitting it hard."
Season-ending wrist surgery likely for Bourjos
ANAHEIM -- In his pursuit to recapture the groove he was in before injuries began to derail him in April, Peter Bourjos was hopeful of playing through a fractured right wrist. The crack was relatively small, and over time, he hoped, it would get better, eventually allowing him to hit without pain and, before the end of 2013, recapture the success he was having at the plate.
That never happened. And now, the invasive surgery he was hoping to avoid -- the type that would come with an eight-week recovery and end his season -- is "likely," the Angels' center fielder said Saturday.
"I don't feel like I can do what I do at the plate," Bourjos finally admitted. "The strength isn't there. I'm not able to take the swing I want to without pain. I can take a bad swing without pain. That's not very productive."
Bourjos batted .313 with a .370 on-base percentage in his first 22 games. Then he strained his left hamstring during the 19-inning game in Oakland on April 29 and missed six weeks. He returned June 10, played in 13 games, hurt his left thumb while sliding into second base, didn't start for a week, returned to the lineup June 29, and then, in the top of the fourth at Minute Maid Park, got drilled in the right wrist by a Lucas Harrell fastball and missed seven more weeks.
"I told Pete earlier, 'Did you break a mirror or something, or did a black cat run across you that you don't remember?'" Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's had such a tough run of just bad luck here."
After an eight-game rehab stint, Bourjos returned to the Angels' lineup on Aug. 16 with the expectation of playing through pain the rest of the year. Then he posted a .109/.163/.152 slash line in 15 games, and over the past nine games, he started only twice.
Bourjos recently had an X-ray taken of his right wrist, and the image was nearly identical to the one he saw in Houston exactly 10 weeks ago.
"It's not worse, it's just not better," Bourjos said. "I have to load up on pills to get it to be manageable."
The surgery, which likely will be performed by Dr. Steven Shin early next week, would pin the bone back to the ligament. Bourjos is hopeful of still being able to pinch-run or come in as a defensive replacement during the last three weeks of the season, but Scioscia said that won't be necessary.
The talented 26-year-old will likely see his season end at 55 games -- one year after being relegated to the bench for most of the season.
"Pretty frustrating," Bourjos said. "From the time I initially got hit, it was always an option that they may have to go in there and fix it. And I was really hoping to avoid that, be able to finish off the year and finish it strong, continue where I left off. It was pretty evident when I went on my rehab assignment that it was going to be pretty tough. It bothered me when I was swinging, didn't feel like I could have good bat speed and make consistent contact. I was trying to get through it and it just hasn't really happened the way I expected it to."
Angels' Gutierrez reaches out to Giants' Petit
ANAHEIM -- Juan Gutierrez called Yusmeiro Petit on Saturday afternoon and left a message.
The Angels' reliever wanted to congratulate the Giants' starter for his one-hit gem against the D-backs on Friday night, while also consoling him for missing out on a perfect game by a mere strike.
"That's tough," Gutierrez said in Spanish. "You hate to see it happen like that."
Gutierrez and Petit -- who gave up a full-count, pinch-hit single to Eric Chavez with two outs in the ninth inning at AT&T Park -- are Venezuela natives who have known each other since 2001. They got to know each other in the summer leagues shortly after signing their first pro contracts, pitched against one another in the Venezuelan Winter League -- Petit for Magallanes, Gutierrez for Caracas -- and grew close when they played together on the D-backs in 2009.
Petit, 28, has had very inconsistent big league time over the past eight years, compiling 76 appearances (40 starts) and posting a 5.19 ERA.
To most baseball fans, he was an unknown -- until he flirted with perfection.
"He's not a power pitcher, as people say, but he knows how to locate his pitches, is really smart, studies hitters," Gutierrez said. "I'm happy for him to get back to the big leagues, particularly for the season he's having for San Francisco. We've been good friends since we were together in Arizona and I always wish him well."
• Howie Kendrick (sprained left knee) is "closer now than he was last week," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. But there's still no definitive date for his return. The earliest Kendrick could make it back would be next weekend in Houston, especially with the Angels playing on artificial turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto from Tuesday to Thursday.
• Josh Hamilton started his seventh consecutive game at designated hitter on Saturday and still hasn't played the outfield since Aug. 27. Hamilton said Friday that the soreness in his left shoulder has subsided, but the Angels will continue to be cautious. "He'll play the outfield at some point," Scioscia said.
• Third baseman Luis Jimenez exited Saturday's 8-3 win over the Rangers in the seventh inning with a sore right thumb, which he incurred on a hit by pitch three innings earlier. His left thumb was also sore after sliding into home plate in the second, but he said he won't be needing an MRI.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.