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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Bad Pitching Only Part of the Problem

Abysmal pitching hurt the Angels again Wednesday night. Mark Langston, in his second start since May 8 knee surgery, lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits in a 14-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Long reliever Shad Williams was more of a short man, facing only three batters in the fourth--all of whom singled in runs. Mark Eichhorn, suffering from a sore shoulder, gave up two singles, a walk and Chuck Knoblauch’s first career grand slam in the fourth and may go on the disabled list today.

But the Angels’ problems this season are hardly limited to pitching. An offense that some compared to Cleveland and Seattle entering the season has not come close to living up to expectations.

The Angels entered Wednesday night’s game ranked 10th in the American League in batting, 12th in runs scored, last in doubles, second-to-last in triples, and last in walks, stolen bases and sacrifice flies.

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They have scored more than five runs in only 15 games. They were batting only .246 with runners in scoring position, including Garret Anderson’s .164, through Tuesday and went one for seven with runners in scoring position Wednesday night. They have no players among league leaders in any offensive categories.

“We’re really not hitting on all cylinders,” Manager Marcel Lachemann said. “We’re just not making the contact we need to make.”

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Steve Ontiveros, making his second rehabilitation start for Class-A Lake Elsinore, went 5 1/3 innings Wednesday night, giving up six hits and one unearned run against San Bernardino. He struck out four, walked none, and of his 62 pitches, 46 were strikes. . . . Tim Salmon homered in the sixth inning Wednesday night, marking the second time this season the right fielder has homered in three consecutive games. . . . Designated hitter Chili Davis, suffering from a strained hamstring, hopes to return to the lineup Friday against Cleveland. . . . Left fielder Anderson snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a fourth-inning double. . . . Reliever Todd Frohwirth cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Vancouver Wednesday, but the right-hander, who had an 11.12 ERA in four appearances, elected to become a free agent and signed a minor-league contract with Baltimore.

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