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Sean Burnett's struggles a success for Angels

March 13, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Sean Burnett had a 2.38 ERA through 56.2 innings with 57 strikeouts for the Washington Nationals last season.
Sean Burnett had a 2.38 ERA through 56.2 innings with 57 strikeouts for the… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It wasn't the debut Sean Burnett had been hoping for: giving up two runs and four hits in a third of an inning during the Angels' 8-6 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

But for Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, simply seeing Burnett on the mound marked a big step forward for the left-hander.

"Just getting out there and getting the wraps off is important," Scioscia said of Burnett, who was pitching in a game for the first time this spring after being slowed by back problems. "He was behind some guys. He's all about getting that sinker in good zones and pitching ahead in the count. And he just wasn't there this afternoon.

"But he'll be better his next time out."

Burnett threw 20 pitches, 14 for strikes. But he gave up four line-drive singles in the span of five batters.

A couple of other pitchers fared a bit better for the Angels. starter Joe Blanton, making his second official Cactus League appearance, gave up two runs and five hits in an efficient five innings. Reliever Ernesto Frieri, who was rocked in his last outing, retired all three batters he faced this time.

But the Padres scored six times in their last two at-bats to wipe out a 6-2 Angels lead built, in part, on a two-run home run by Peter Bourjos and two hits and two runs from Mike Trout.

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