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ANGELS FYI

Angels get no relief from Francisco Rodriguez

Rodriguez gives up three runs in two-thirds of an inning to squander a lead and a solid effort by starter Trevor Bell.

August 03, 2010|By Ben Bolch

Reporting from Baltimore — Francisco Rodriguez was hurt by the placement of his hand. Then he was stung by the location of a pitch.

By the time the Angels reliever completed a disastrous sixth inning Tuesday night at Camden Yards, the Baltimore Orioles had scored four runs on the way to a come-from-behind 6-3 victory.

Rodriguez went into the game with the Angels holding a one-run lead and Ty Wigginton on first base after drawing a one-out walk against starter Trevor Bell. But before his second pitch to Luke Scott, Rodriguez pointed to his eyes with the ball in his right hand because he was apparently having trouble seeing catcher Mike Napoli's signs.

Plate umpire Jerry Layne immediately called a balk.

"He said I was starting to do my delivery when I wasn't doing it, so they called a balk," Rodriguez said. "Nothing we can do."

Five pitches later, Rodriguez (0-2) tried to throw a cutter low and inside to Scott. But the ball was low and over the plate, and Scott reached down and crushed it for a two-run home run that gave the Orioles the lead for good.

When Josh Bell drove in two runs with a double to left field, a solid start from Bell had been relegated to a footnote. The right-hander gave up five hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his best major league start.

Bell said he was more aggressive than he had been in his most recent start, July 25 against Texas, challenging hitters with fastballs. He was pulled after throwing 78 pitches, with Manager Mike Scioscia saying Bell had started to elevate his pitches.

"I definitely felt like I had a little more in the tank," Bell said. "It probably has a lot to do with … the fact that I haven't gone to 100 pitches at all this whole year."

Scioscia said Bell had earned another start. Bell's counterpart, Jeremy Guthrie (5-11), held the Angels to five hits and three runs in seven innings, with Howie Kendrick's two-run home run in the fifth inning and Napoli's run-scoring double in the seventh accounting for the only significant damage.

Getting closer

Scott Kazmir said he was hopeful he could start Saturday against Detroit after throwing 61 pitches during a simulated game Monday at the Angels' spring-training facility in Tempe, Ariz.

"I feel like I'm right on track," said Kazmir, who has been on the disabled list since July 11 because of fatigue in his pitching shoulder.

Short hops

Center fielder Peter Bourjos said his girlfriend and his parents had flown in from Arizona to attend his major league debut. They shouldn't have had any problem getting tickets, because Bourjos' father, Peter, is an Orioles scout. … To make room for Bourjos on the roster, the Angels optioned reliever Bobby Cassevah to triple-A Salt Lake.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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