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Hard Hits Follow Him All the Way to Bronx

May 16, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Scott Spiezio's recent surge at the plate started not with soaring home runs at Yankee Stadium but with line-drive outs at Edison Field. It was during an 0-for-8 stretch last weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays -- part of an 0-for-25 slump -- that the Angel first baseman felt his swing starting to come around.

"My first at-bat in all those games I actually hit it perfect, it was just right at people," Spiezio said. "My second at-bat in a couple of the games, I hit the ball pretty good and again it was right at people. That's always a good start, when you're feeling good at the plate, even if you're not having results."

The results came during the first two games of the Angels' series against the Yankees, when Spiezio had six hits, including two home runs and a double, to raise his batting average from .182 to .218. Spiezio's average remained there Thursday after he drew three walks and was hit by a pitch.

Spiezio said the improvement wasn't attributable to adjustments. In fact, the coaching staff encouraged him to stick with his approach.

Said Manager Mike Scioscia: "Hopefully, now he's starting to show signs of finding his rhythm and timing and hitting the ball better."


There was nothing new for Darin Erstad on Thursday, when Arturo Moreno, the new Angel owner, had his purchase of the organization from Disney approved earlier in the day by baseball owners.

"Doesn't make my leg feel any better," joked the center fielder, who has been out nearly a month with tendinitis in his right hamstring and is expected to miss at least two more weeks.



Opponent -- Boston Red Sox, three games.

Site -- Fenway Park.

TV -- Channel 9, today and Sunday; Channel 11, Saturday.

Radio -- KSPN (710), KWKU (1220).

Records -- Angels 19-20, Red Sox 26-14.

Record vs. Red Sox -- 1-2.

Tonight, 4 -- Ramon Ortiz (4-4, 5.87) vs. Tim Wakefield (4-1, 4.60).

Saturday, 10:15 a.m. -- Jarrod Washburn (3-4, 3.79) vs. Derek Lowe (3-3, 6.53).

Sunday, 11 a.m. -- John Lackey (2-3, 6.84) vs. John Burkett (1-2, 6.04).

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