Glaus Enjoys a Rare Good Day in Safeco
At least the Angels and third baseman Troy Glaus didn’t leave Safeco Field with a sour taste in their mouths. The Angels, who were shut out Tuesday and Wednesday nights, beat the Mariners, 6-3, on Thursday in their final game of the season in Seattle, and Glaus singled sharply to left to knock in a run in the ninth inning.
Safeco has not been a safe haven for Glaus, who is two for 36 (.056) here this season and seven for 68 (.103) in his career. With his one-for-12 performance in the Kingdome, Glaus has a .100 career average (eight for 80) in Seattle.
“He hit the ball hard [Wednesday] and had some good swings [Thursday],” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I don’t think he has a mental block here. This park is not geared to a pure power hitter. As he plays here more, his confidence level will rise.”
Garret Anderson hit a two-run home run in the third inning, snapping a string of 36 scoreless innings by Seattle starting pitchers against the Angels. It was the Angels’ first run in 21 innings, their first extra-base hit in 26 innings, their first home run in 39 innings and their first lead in 45 innings. Tim Salmon’s double and Bengie Molina’s RBI single snapped a 3-3 tie in the eighth, and Glaus and Salmon had RBI singles in the ninth. Shigetoshi Hasegawa pitched two perfect innings in relief of starter Jarrod Washburn to gain the victory, and Troy Percival retired the side in order in the ninth for his 39th save.
After Seattle clinched the division title Wednesday, Manager Lou Piniella rested four regulars Thursday--second baseman Bret Boone, who suffered a bruised heel Wednesday, right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, first baseman John Olerud and catcher Dan Wilson, though Suzuki did pinch-hit in the ninth.
With third baseman David Bell sidelined by a strained rib-cage muscle, Piniella’s top priorities, with 15 games left in the regular season, are to make sure his team is physically sound and his bullpen is sharp entering the playoffs.
“We are not going to overplay our people just so we can break the record for [regular-season] wins,” Piniella said. “But it’s also important to keep the team sharp, to play good, competitive baseball, because you can lose your edge.”
Washburn gave up three runs on six hits in six innings Thursday. The left-hander hadn’t pitched since Sept. 9, so his command was off, but he felt strong, hitting 97 mph on the Safeco speed gun with a strikeout of Jay Buhner in the fifth inning. Washburn usually maxes out at 94 mph.
“I saw [Percival] hit 102 mph and me 97 mph; all I can say is that gun is accurate as any in the league,” Washburn joked. “It’s right on. That was as hard as I’ve ever thrown. Everything must have been right mechanically for one pitch.’
Opponent--Texas Rangers, three games.
Site--The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
TV--Channel 9 tonight and Saturday night.
Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090).
Records--Angels 74-73, Rangers 67-80.
Record vs. Rangers--6-7.