Garret Anderson still insists he is not a home run hitter, as he has sworn for years. His definition is a little different.
"I'm not a home run hitter like a Mark McGwire-type, a big strong guy who just has to get a little of the bat on the ball to hit it 400 feet," Anderson said. "I have to put a good piece of wood on the ball to hit it 400 feet."
What Anderson is becoming, though, is a dangerous hitter. He demonstrated that Wednesday against Texas. His two-run homer tied the score, 2-2, in the eighth inning. He also homered Thursday in the Angels' 6-3 loss.
"You grow and mature in the way you do things," Anderson said. "When you're younger, you go out and try to make it happen. As you get older, you let the game come to you. I've watched guys like Ken Griffey and Edgar Martinez. They don't miss pitches. When you're younger, you miss a lot of pitches."
Anderson hasn't missed much lately. He has 15 runs batted in the last 12 games. Pitchers treat him more and more like a hitter in the McGwire category late in games.
"Late in the game, I don't get pitched inside," Anderson said.
Anderson has developed as a hitter over the years, but the power came last season, when he hit 35 home runs and drove in 117 runs.
He had averaged 14 home runs through his first five major league seasons. Anderson has 12 home runs and 52 runs batted in this season.
Anderson has always been consistent. He has never hit below .286. But he said he has evolved as a hitter.
"I take my hits," Anderson said. "If I'm 0 for 2, I remind myself not to try to do too much, just try to hit a line drive out there. I do make those kind of adjustments. If I'm two for two, I might try to hit something into the seats if I get the pitch."
That Mo Vaughn wishes to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic was news to Angel officials. Vaughn said Wednesday that he wants to go work with his former hitting coach, Mike Easler, who manages Los Pollos in the Dominican winter league.
"I haven't discussed that with him," General Manager Bill Stoneman said. "That would be something where we would have to bring in our medical people so they could clear him to play."
Pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa will be activated Saturday after having a second successful rehabilitation outing on Wednesday. He went one inning, giving up two singles but no runs for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Opponent--Seattle Mariners, three games.
TV--Fox Sports Net tonight.
Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090).
Records--Angels 38-39, Mariners 56-21.
Record vs. Mariners--3-7.
(6-6, 4.49 ERA)
(8-3, 4.33 ERA)
Update--The Mariners still have baseball's best record, but are 4-7 in their last 11 games.
Saturday, 12:15 p.m.--Ismael Valdes (4-4, 4.37) vs. Paul Abbott (7-2, 4.52).
Sunday, 5 p.m.--Ramon Ortiz (6-5, 4.04) vs. Freddy Garcia (8-1, 3.72).