Hamilton looks strong in Angels' win over Giants
Slugger hits two doubles; Skaggs allows two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton and Michael Morse were both set back by calf injuries earlier this spring, but both looked ready for the regular season during the Angels' 11-4 win over the Giants at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday.
Hamilton, who strained his left calf during a baserunning drill Feb. 26 and didn't make his Cactus League debut until March 17, laced two doubles and scored a run for the Angels to put his batting average at .391 through seven games.
The Giants, meanwhile, have been extra careful with Morse ever since he suffered a mild strain of his right calf March 12. He didn't start again until March 21, then got almost two full days off before going 2-for-5 with two RBIs while batting second and serving as the designated hitter Monday.
Morse got the Giants on the board by grounding into a forceout in the third -- three batters before Pablo Sandoval added a sacrifice fly -- then hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth.
"I thought he threw out some good at-bats," Gianta manager Bruce Bochy said.
Tyler Skaggs, likely to be the Angels' fifth starter, was charged with two runs (one earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking three and striking out two.
Ryan Vogelsong gave up four runs on eight hits in four-plus innings, walking two while striking out two, and has a 9.00 ERA in 19 Cactus League innings. The Angels plated three runs in the fourth, on an RBI single by Raul Ibanez and a two-run double by J.B. Shuck, then got an RBI double by Hamilton just before Vogelsong exited with none out in the fifth.
"I actually commanded the ball on both sides of the plate really well," Vogelsong said. "I felt fine. I have to start making some better pitches when I get ahead [in the count]."
Chris Iannetta led off the sixth with his third home run of the spring and the Angels pulled away with a four-run seventh. The Angels loaded the bases with none out against Santiago Casilla, then scored on a walk by Ibanez, an RBI single by Grant Green, a balk by Daryl Maday and a ground-rule double by Brennan Boesch.
The Angels have now won six Cactus League games in a row, putting their record at 15-10-2.
"We're doing a lot of things that we're going to need to do to win ballgames during the season," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're playing defense, our pitching has been really, really strong all spring, and on the offensive side you can see the potential depth of our lineup when you have a guy like Howie [Kendrick] hitting sixth or seventh. There's some good things that we've been doing the last couple weeks and we just need to keep going these last few days, keep pushing and get ready for Opening Day."
Up next: Jered Weaver's last spring start will come in a Minor League game Tuesday, in order to make sure the Angels' likely Opening Day starter gets up seven times. That means Tuesday's contest against the Cubs in Mesa will essentially be a bullpen game, with Brandon Lyon -- a candidate for one of the Angels' open spots in the 'pen -- getting the first inning. Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada will start for the Cubs' split squad. Tuesday's game, a designated replay game, starts at 1:05 p.m. PT and can be seen on Prime Ticket or MLB.TV.
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.