Angel pitching was staggered again Friday night--and that was before Don Sutton allowed six runs in four-plus innings.
Although they eventually pulled out a 7-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th inning at Anaheim Stadium, the Angels were stunned by the loss of two more members of their starting rotation. That means Manager Gene Mauch is no longer just juggling and patching with his pitching.
Now, it has gotten down to scrounging.
First, the good news: Devon White stroked a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th, scoring Gary Pettis with the decisive run off Oriole reliever Ken Dixon (3-3).
Earlier, however, the Angels made two key pitching moves:
--No. 2 starter John Candelaria was placed on the disabled list after being arrested for the second time in four weeks for investigation of driving while intoxicated.
--No. 5 starter Urbano Lugo was reassigned to the depths of the bullpen, where long relief awaits him after five turns in the rotation yielded an 0-2 record and a 9.49 earned-run average.
Taking their spots are a couple of relievers, Mike Cook and Chuck Finley, with respective ERAs of 5.50 and 3.57 and a combined record of 1-3. Cook, 23, will start Monday night and Finley, 24, will pitch Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Along with rookie Willie Fraser, the Angels have three starting pitchers who weren't in the major leagues this time last season. A month ago, some were saying the Angels had the best starting five in the American League. Now, it's Mike Witt, Sutton and the Edmonton Trappers.
"Three weeks ago, we had 10 guys who all knew their roles--and all 10 were pitching well," Mauch said. "Some things have happened to mess that up. But that doesn't mean it can't be fixed."
Sutton provided no quick fix Friday night. The Angel offense gave him a 4-0 lead after one inning, knocking Oriole starter Eric Bell out of the game before he could get three outs.
By the middle of the third inning, however, Sutton had allowed Baltimore to tie it. And, after two more Angel runs, Sutton came back to groove a home run pitch to Jim Dwyer, whose two-run shot tied the score, 6-6, in the top of the fifth.
Ex-Angel Fred Lynn, who dropped a line drive by Pettis in the first inning, a play that gave the Angels their third and fourth runs, started the Oriole comeback in the second inning. With one out, Lynn homered over the right-field fence, his sixth of the season.
Ray Knight followed with a single, and Larry Sheets hit a one-hopper over the wall in left-center for an RBI double. Only a leaping catch by second baseman Mark McLemore, denying Rick Burleson a hit, brought the inning to an end.
In the third, Sutton struck out the first two batters he faced but walked Cal Ripken to bring up Eddie Murray. Not a brilliant thing to do. Murray was batting only .248, but he had hit six home runs in his last seven games.
On the first pitch he saw from Sutton, Murray put his 10th home run over the right-field fence and the score was tied, 4-4. Run-scoring singles by Bob Boone and Brian Downing put the Angels back in front, 6-4, but Sutton let that lead slip away in the fifth.
Sutton walked leadoff batter Mike Young, who was just recalled from Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate in Rochester, N.Y. Dwyer then stepped up and cleared the fences again. The score was 6-6 and Sutton was out of the game.
It was Sutton's second straight early exit. He lasted just five innings last Sunday at Boston, allowing five runs and two more home runs. That began a trend of shabby pitching that was interrupted only by Witt's 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers Monday.
Excluding Witt, Angel starters have managed a total of 14 innings in four games. Over the same span, they have allowed 21 earnedruns--an ERA of 13.50.
Credit the offense and the bullpen for getting the Angels into extra innings Friday. The Angels scored six runs in the first four innings, and then DeWayne Buice and Donnie Moore shut out Baltimore through the ninth.
Buice replaced Sutton with no outs in the fifth and worked three innings of one-hit relief. Moore entered the game in the top of the eighth and retired the Orioles in order. In the ninth, Moore issued a leadoff single to Sheets before retiring the next three Baltimore batters in succession.
The Angels' four-run first inning began with a walk to Downing and a single by Wally Joyner, playing for the first time since Saturday after missing four games to attend his brother's funeral. Doug DeCinces singled Downing home and Joyner scored on a single by Dick Schofield.
DeCinces and Schofield came in on Lynn's error. Pettis lined Bell's two-out pitch to center, Lynn ran in, gloved the ball at his belt, fell to the ground--and lost control of the baseball. By the time he retrieved it, the Angels had a 4-0 lead.