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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Anderson Picks Wrong Time to Relax

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Rookie left fielder Garret Anderson glides in the outfield and has a smooth, almost effortless swing, but when he coasted on the basepaths Saturday, the Angels missed their best shot at scoring the tying run in a 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Anderson was on first in the sixth inning when Rex Hudler blooped a double over first baseman Mo Vaughn’s head, scoring Tim Salmon from third.

Anderson advanced to third on the hit, but when third-base coach Rick Burleson saw the throw going into second, he waved Anderson home. Anderson missed the sign, though, and stopped at third while the throw bounced off Hudler’s back at second.

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“I think he just shut it down a little early instead of coming hard,” Burleson said. “On a play like that, when the second baseman threw the ball back across the field, you have a chance to sneak in the back door. My gut feeling is he could have made it.”

Anderson, who was picked off first and cost the Angels a run in a 4-1 loss at New York on Wednesday, said he simply didn’t notice Burleson. He was stranded at third when Greg Myers grounded out to end the inning.

“I was looking at a different place at the time, not really at him,” Anderson said. “I knew I’d make to third as soon as he hit it, but as far as scoring, I never thought about it.”

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He was the key to the offense when the team was hitting on all cylinders, but leadoff batter Tony Phillips has not been able to jump-start the Angels during the eight-game losing streak.

Phillips has not reached base in the first inning in all eight losses and has opened four of those games with strikeouts. He is in a three-for-31 slump and his strikeout Saturday on a full-count fastball from Joe Hudson began a seventh-inning double play, which ended when Damion Easley was thrown out at second.

“Two weeks ago I crush that ball--it was on the outside part of the plate, where I like it,” Phillips said. “But now, I can’t hit the outside pitch, the inside pitch or the pitch up the middle. I’m screwed up. But I’ll work it out. You can only stink for so long.”

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Manager Marcel Lachemann, after spending more than an hour working with struggling starter Brian Anderson in the bullpen before Saturday’s game, said the left-hander will remain in the rotation.

Anderson, who has lost his last five decisions and didn’t make it past the second inning of his last game, will start Tuesday in Baltimore.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds, suffering from a strained muscle in his lower back said he’ll take another day off today but might be able to return for Monday’s game at Baltimore.

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