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Angels make little noise with bats in 7-3 loss to Boston

'We need to get into our game,' Manager Mike Scioscia says of slumping offensive effort.

May 03, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels starter Dan Haren walks toward the dugout after giving up a solo home run to Boston's Adrian Gonzalez during the eighth inning of the Angels' 7-3 loss Tuesday.
Angels starter Dan Haren walks toward the dugout after giving up a solo home… (Matt Campbell / EPA )

Reporting from Boston — Angels Manager Mike Scioscia has seen this act before. And he didn't like it very much the first time.

But, basically, it goes like this: His Angels pitch really well, don't score much and lose a lot of games.

It happened last year, when the Angels put up their worst offensive numbers in nearly two decades and missed the playoffs. And it's happening again this season. After Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Angels are on pace to score even fewer runs than last season while leading the American League in strikeouts.

"We need to get into our game," Scioscia said. "We're just seeing one at-bat after another kind of mirroring each other … and just not getting it done."

In fact, the Angels are scoring less, striking out more and failing more often with runners in scoring position than they did last year.

"There's definitely a frustration level when you take one step forward and then all of sudden there's a half-step backward," Scioscia said. "You want to get into that flow of what you can do or have guys start to get comfortable And we haven't seen that yet.

"We're 30 games into this so we need to see some continuity on the offensive side."

Instead he sees cleanup hitter Torii Hunter batting .246 with just eight extra-base hits. The No. 5 hitter, Vernon Wells, is even worse. After going one for three Tuesday, he's batting .176 with a .227 on-base percentage and is on pace for a career high in strikeouts.

Catcher Jeff Mathis is hitting .193 for a team that has lost four of its last six games.

"We have to pick up some parts of our game," Scioscia said. "We need the offense to start to do some of the things that we can do. It's not all about home runs. It's really about just situational hitting."

Especially against Boston.

Since sweeping the Red Sox in the 2009 playoffs, the Angels have lost 15 of 16 to Boston — including six in a row this season. If the Angels had won just half those games they would have the second-best record in the American League.

"We've got to do something," Hunter said. "We're all competitors at the end of the day. And we want to win."

Not that the Angels are putting up much fight.

For the first eight innings Tuesday, their offense consisted of just one swing — a second-inning solo home run by Mark Trumbo. It was another feeble effort to back Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren, who has gotten no more than one run in offensive support in more than a third of his games as an Angel.

The Red Sox got three consecutive two-out singles in the sixth to go up 2-1. Haren gave up another run in the seventh, and when Adrian Gonzalez homered leading off the eighth, his night was over.

"What's disturbing about what's going on right now is not getting beat by one team or another team," Scioscia said. "What's disturbing is us not being able to, as the season goes on, start to get into our game more than we have been.

"It's like you start a fastbreak in basketball and you're missing layups. We need to get that consistent pressure on other teams."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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