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ANGELS : Lewis Sees Light in 10-Hit, 5-Run Darkness

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Scott Lewis’ spirits were high, but so were too many of his pitches.

Lewis’ morale remained high after he had gave up 10 hits and five runs in his first start. Enmeshed in competition with fellow right-hander Joe Grahe for the fifth spot in the Angels’ rotation, Lewis refused to mope after his rocky showing in the Angels’ 9-2 loss to a San Francisco Giants’ split squad Thursday at Angels Stadium.

“I prefer to get the better things out of every outing,” said Lewis, who has seemed to hold a slight edge over Grahe throughout camp.

“I was in more positive counts today, I was feeling better along the way and I busted a few 90s (90-m.p.h. pitches) today,” Lewis said. “The last game I threw (last Sunday), my best pitch was 85. Overall, I felt good today.

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“Ideally, you want to throw five shutout innings. But I have enough confidence in myself and the coaching staff that the coaches are not going to say, ‘You gave up five runs. You can’t pitch.’ ”

Pitching coach Marcel Lachemann acknowledged that Lewis had trouble finding the strike zone, dangerous for a pitcher Lachemann describes as “a location guy more than a velocity guy.” But Lachemann also found encouragement in Lewis’ performance.

“Sometimes it’s almost good to see how somebody reacts when things are not going good,” Lachemann said. “It’s easy to be up when things are going well, but not when they’re not. He handled it well. He didn’t give in. He continued to try to make his pitches.”

The Giants scored three runs in the second inning after Lewis struck out Greg Litton and Tony Perezchica. After Lewis hit Kirt Manwaring, he gave up singles to Mike Benjamin, Dave Anderson, Mike Kingery and Will Clark. The Giants added two runs in the fifth.

“You’ve got to ride it when you’re going real good, and when you’re going bad, you can’t just fold,” Lewis said. “I feel confident, but I don’t take anything for granted. . . . I think I’ve shown them some things they’re looking for.”

The Angels will look at Grahe again today against the Cleveland Indians. The teams agreed to play extra innings to give the Angels’ pitchers extra work.

A double by John Orton, a triple by Junior Felix and Luis Polonia’s ground out narrowed San Francisco’s lead to 3-2, but the Giants pulled away on two runs in the fifth inning and three off Floyd Bannister in the sixth and seventh. Two of those runs were unearned, after throwing errors charged to catcher Orton and shortstop Dick Schofield.

“Defensively we didn’t play well,” Manager Doug Rader said. “We didn’t swing the bats particularly well. It wasn’t very much of a day.”

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Angel Notes

Dave Parker’s seventh-inning single ended a zero-for-17 streak. He is hitting .276 with the Angels since coming from the Milwaukee Brewers in trade and .268 overall. . . . General Manager Mike Port said he will ask the Angels’ Florida scouts for their evaluation of Dodger left-hander Fernando Valenzuela, but he expressed doubts the Angels would claim Valenzuela on waivers. “My first reaction is, I don’t see how he’d fit into our pitching situation,” Port said. “As a matter of procedure we’ll check anybody. We don’t want to close out any possibility. But right now, I don’t see how it would be a match, especially on a claim basis, which means taking his ($2.55-million) contract.” . . . City officials in Tempe, Ariz., announced they will begin formal negotiations with the Angels next week on the the Angels’ proposed move to Diablo Stadium. This would end the club’s splitting spring training between Arizona and Palm Springs.


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