Will Spiezio Add Fair Share?
Angel designated hitter Scott Spiezio watched what would be his first-inning home run hook toward the foul pole Monday and went into the standard routine.
“I tried to give it a little English with my body and I was saying, ‘Stay fair, stay fair,’ ” Spiezio said. “That stuff doesn’t work.”
This time it did. The ball dropped into the seats in the right-field corner. In the sixth, he belted one to right field that gave him the second two-homer game of his career.
He also broke a zero-for-13 streak during the Angels’ 10-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers. “On the last road trip, I had one ball in Chicago that went foul and another one in Tampa that did the same thing,” said Spiezio, whose batting average had dipped from .289 to .216 before Monday. “I had three games where I hit some balls that could have easily been hits. It just feels a lot better when they count.”
The Angels are hoping that Spiezio will feel better all season. They are not expecting him to replace Jim Edmonds, merely fill a portion of that void.
“We’re expecting that from Scott,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s not a situation that whatever he gives us is gravy. For us to be where we want to be, we need people like him to create offense. If you sit back and wait for the middle of the lineup to do it every day, you’re going to be disappointed.”
Spiezio did his part Monday, doubling his home run output for the season. Unfortunately for the Angels, he was hitless in three at-bats in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Detroit.
Angel outfielder Orlando Palmeiro, who grew up in Miami and still lives there, witnessed from afar the Elian Gonzalez situation. He understood why members of the Florida Marlins joined the one-day strike in Miami, but chose not to join in.
“I don’t think it would really mean anything unless you are in Miami,” said Palmeiro, whose parents are from Cuba. “From what I understand, they are trying to mess up Miami because of the way Elian was taken away.
“The whole think has become politicized. I think that Elian would have better opportunities in this country. I also think he should be with his father.”
His sister and father joined the strike.
Shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who played for the first time in two weeks Monday, was given the night off Tuesday. Benji Gil started in his place and was hitless in three at-bats against the Tigers.
“We planned to give Gary the night off,” Scioscia said. “He’ll play [today] and then we’ll see how he feels. If he needs to rest another day, then we’ll give him Thursday off. He is such a huge piece to this team that we need him the whole season.”
Gil hit .240 while DiSarcina was sidelined because of an injured left thumb.
Tim Belcher pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits, in a rehabilitation start for triple-A Edmonton against Calgary on Tuesday. Belcher, who was scheduled to throw 75 pitches, threw 60. He had one strikeout and one walk, and the only run he gave up was a second-inning home run.
“He will make two or three more starts,” Scioscia said.
(3-0, 3.76 ERA)
(1-3, 7.52 ERA)
Edison Field, 7 p.m.
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* Update--The Angels began Tuesday second in the American League in bating average (.303) and led the major leagues in stolen bases (21).
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