Angels rout Garza as Santiago displays K's
Club sends 13 to plate, scores eight in second; starter fans six in strong 4 1/3
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Hector Santiago sat around for a while, then he went to the tunnel and threw some baseballs against the net, then came back into the dugout and did some pull-ups, all while the Angels' offense put up eight runs in a marathon second inning against the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday.
"Last year, when I was pitching, we didn't have very many big innings," said Santiago, the former White Sox left-hander and new Angels starter. "So, it's been a while. Now I know what it feels like to sit down for so long, and it seems like we're going to do that a lot. I'll take 40-minute innings all the time, as long as we're scoring some runs."
David Freese went 3-for-3 to break out of his spring slump; Kole Calhoun, Albert Pujols, Erick Aybar and Matt Long each notched a couple of hits; and Mike Trout scored two runs and drove in two as the Angels won, 12-2, and the starters had their most impressive offensive showing since the Cactus League opener nearly two weeks ago.
The other half of the Angels' split-squad beat the Rangers, 12-1, in Surprise, Ariz., with a roster made up mostly of backups.
Garza lasted only 1 2/3 innings and was charged with 10 runs, six earned, on nine hits, with a walk, a strikeout and two key errors committed behind him during the Angels' eight-run second inning. Second baseman Rickie Weeks missed a ground ball, and shortstop Jean Segura dropped a relay throw.
"I threw the pitch, they put the ball on the ground, and it just happens," said Garza, who introduced his slider and curveball for the first time and said both need work. "That's it. You can't worry about it. Just thank God it's only Spring Training."
His first Spring Training since ignoring a similar offer from the Angels and signing a four-year, $50 million contract with the Brewers has not been particularly pretty. Garza has surrendered 17 runs, 12 earned, on 19 hits in 5 2/3 innings. His spring ERA is 19.06.
Are those numbers cause for concern?
"No," Garza said. "You get new ones when the bell dings, so I'm not too worried about these."
The Angels scored a couple of runs in the first on an RBI double by Pujols -- his second in as many days -- and a run-scoring single by Freese, who came in 1-for-14.
In the second, the Angels sent 13 batters to the plate and saw the first six reach. Matt Long (7-for-9 in his previous two games), Calhoun and Trout notched three straight RBI singles, Freese did the same three batters later, Howie Kendrick hit a sacrifice fly and, with Rob Wooten replacing Garza, Hank Conger capped the inning with a two-run single.
Santiago gave up two runs in 4 1/3 innings, scattering five hits, walking one and striking out six to put his spring ERA at 1.64. He threw 83 pitches, which is a lot for the middle of March -- but not for Santiago.
"I was fine; good to go," he said. "I threw 90 pitches this offseason. That was before Spring Training started. I felt fine. I definitely felt like I could've kept going. We'll see how it feels tomorrow."
Up next: Garrett Richards gets his third Cactus League start on Thursday, opposite left-hander Jose Quintana, when the Angels host the White Sox at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Richards, who's expected to go five innings and roughly 75 pitches, was hit around by the D-backs five days ago, giving up five runs on eight hits in four innings. Game time is 1:05 p.m. PT and can be seen live on 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.