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Angels' J.B. Shuck loses sight of what's in front of him on bases

Shuck's baserunning error against the Red Sox in the eighth inning kills a rally as Josh Hamilton is coming up. However, his work in place of Peter Bourjos has been solid.

June 10, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
  • Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck kneels on the infield after being tagged out when he was caught in a rundown between second and third during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox.
Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck kneels on the infield after being tagged out… (Mary Schwalm / Associated…)

BOSTON — — Left fielder J.B. Shuck had a nice six-week run as a fill-in for injured starter Peter Bourjos, hitting .259 with 10 runs and 11 runs batted in and playing solid defense in 34 games, but it ended on a sour note Sunday.

The Angels scored twice in the eighth inning against Boston on Shuck's two-out, bases-loaded single to cut the lead to 10-5, and they had runners on first and second when Mike Trout flared a single to right.

It appeared Chris Iannetta would score from second, but the slow-running catcher was held by third base coach Dino Ebel. Shuck, who was on first, thought Iannetta would score, so he rounded second aggressively and headed to third.

Shuck eventually saw the stop sign and scurried back to second, but not before Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew cut off right fielder Daniel Nava's throw, chased Shuck down and applied the tag to end an inning that could have continued with the bases loaded and Josh Hamilton up.

"You always have to be mindful of what's going on in front of you, especially when you're a faster runner," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "J.B. knew he could make third and had his head down. You have to be prepared for a late hold."

Shuck, who will move to the bench when Bourjos, who completed his minor league rehabilitation assignment Sunday, is activated for Monday night's game in Baltimore, took full blame for the mistake.

"I got caught in between, and they happened to throw to second and got me," Shuck said. "I have to be anticipating that, knowing who's in front of me."

Stare-down

Albert Pujols' first-inning solo home run against Ryan Dempster was the eighth homer of his career against the Boston right-hander, the most he has hit against any pitcher, and that made the third-inning fastball that hit Pujols in the ribs suspicious to the Angels slugger, who exchanged words with Dempster on the way to first.

"I was kind of mad, because after you hit a home run, then you come right back, up and in like that?" Pujols said. "If it would have been below my waist … I know Dempster, he's a great dude, and I'm pretty sure he didn't mean to do it. But I didn't appreciate it, and I let him know. I told him. That wasn't right."

Pujols is a .350 hitter (21 for 60) against Dempster with the eight home runs and 17 RBIs, "and I think that's the first time he hit me," Pujols said. "He was probably setting me up for his next pitch, and the ball probably slipped away from him, but I wasn't too happy about it."

Short hops

Reliever Robert Coello gave up three runs and three hits, including Jarrod Saltalamacchia's three-run homer to center, and walked three in the seventh inning Sunday. Coello has now given up six earned runs and five hits in 11/3 innings of his last two appearances, boosting his earned-run average from 0.68 to 4.30 in 13 games. … Hamilton was hitless in five at-bats with two strikeouts Sunday, his average falling to .212. … Scioscia confirmed Jerome Williams will start Wednesday night's series finale against the Orioles.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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