PALM SPRINGS — Gary Lucas was supposed to be holding together the California Angels' bullpen this season. Instead, he is pitching for the club's Class-A affiliate in Palm Springs, trying to rehabilitate from a spring-training back injury.
In Palm Springs' 5-4 victory over the Ventura County Gulls on Saturday night, Lucas struggled just to hold a lead.
He entered the California League game in the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead inherited from Eric Price (3-1). As he is expected to do back in the minor league, Lucas retired the first three batters he faced.
In the ninth inning, however, Ventura County (4-8) suddenly became a major obstacle.
Mike Jones tripled, Santiago Garcia doubled and Geromino Berroa singled to open the inning, cutting the Angels' lead to 5-3. Darryl Landrum then bounced into a doubleplay, with Garcia scoring.
Greg Myers followed with a single to bring up the tying run, but Lucas struck out Domingo Martinez to end the threat.