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ANGELS FYI

A's aren't pumped about Rodriguez

July 14, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

OAKLAND -- Francisco Rodriguez punctuated his major league-leading 38th save with a celebration that was even more exuberant than usual Sunday, double-pumping his arms toward the ground and then thrusting them toward the sky after the Angels' 4-3 victory, a display of emotion that rankled some in the Athletics' dugout.

"I don't think he's got too many fans in this clubhouse," Oakland designated hitter Jack Cust said of Rodriguez, who is seven for seven in save opportunities against the A's this season.

"That's what he does; guys know that's his reaction. We would have been pumped too, if we won. If he's overwhelmed with the win, that's fine. I don't usually have enough energy for that."

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia defended Rodriguez, saying his closer's reactions are spontaneous and genuine and have nothing to do with the team he has just vanquished.

"Any closer in this league is pitching in a high-intensity situation," Scioscia said. "Frankie is pretty cool going through it, but there's certainly a release that takes place when you close out games. It's nothing against the other players. He's not showing up anyone. It's a pure release of emotion."

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Spot start

Right-hander Dustin Moseley gave the Angels everything they could ask for Sunday, filling in on short notice -- and short rest -- for All-Star left-hander Joe Saunders and giving up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Moseley, who threw 90 pitches Wednesday in a six-inning start for triple-A Salt Lake, had a rocky first inning, giving up two runs and four hits, including run-scoring singles by Emil Brown and Carlos Gonzalez.

But the right-hander escaped further damage by getting Mark Ellis to ground into an inning-ending double play, and he didn't give up another hit, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters before being replaced by left-hander Darren Oliver with one out in the sixth.

"That's the way Dustin threw the ball for us most of the time last year," Scioscia said. "That was impressive to see. On three days' rest, to pitch into the sixth inning and give us a chance to win was important to us."

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Nicked up

Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer outpitched Moseley, giving up two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings, but the Angels ended the right-hander's 18-inning scoreless streak in the fourth inning, when Vladimir Guerrero singled and later scored on Howie Kendrick's fielder's choice grounder.

Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman also delivered a huge hit against Duchscherer, who is 10-5 with an American League-low 1.82 earned run average. Kotchman's solo home run pulled the Angels to within 3-2 in the eighth inning.

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Short hops

Scioscia said John Lackey will start the first game after the All-Star break, Friday night against the Boston Red Sox in Angel Stadium, but he won't set the rest of the rotation until he sees whether Saunders and Ervin Santana pitch in Tuesday's All-Star game. . . . Juan Rivera, who contributed a key single to the Angels' two-run ninth-inning rally Sunday, is 11 for 30 (.367) with three home runs and eight RBIs in nine starts since June 29.

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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