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Offense Offers No Security

Times Staff Writer

With the Angels’ season-long offensive slump pushing two months, it’s natural for speculation about batting instructor Mickey Hatcher’s job to arise. Heck, if those posting on Angel message boards had their way, Hatcher would have been fired about 47 times over the past few years.

Though Hatcher, in his sixth season under Manager Mike Scioscia, is not worried about his job, the former major league infielder and outfielder has been around the game long enough to know that if the Angels’ struggles continue for several more months, he could come under more scrutiny.

“If they feel I’m not getting the job done and they have to let me go, that’s baseball, that’s the way it is,” Hatcher said. “They’re paying me to get results.”

Scioscia seemed offended that the subject was even brought up.

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“His job is not in jeopardy, it’s never even come up; it’s not even an issue,” Scioscia said. “He cares so much and takes this to heart.... We’re going to weather this, and these guys are going to be productive.”

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Jarrod Washburn’s next start will be in Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field Monday and will kick off a 12-game, four-city, two-week trip that the Angel left-hander probably wished extended into July or August.

Home has been anything but sweet for Washburn, who fell to 0-2 with a 7.20 earned run average in Angel Stadium with Wednesday night’s loss to the White Sox. He now has a 26-29 record and 4.81 ERA at home. On the road, Washburn is 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA this season and 44-23 with a 3.37 ERA lifetime.

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“I hate pitching at home,” Washburn said. “I don’t know what it is. I approach home games the same as I do road games, but for some reason, I’m terrible here and good on the road.

“It’s a shame because the fans here have never seen me be good. They all think I’m a bum, a .500 pitcher.”

ON DECK

Opponent -- Kansas City Royals, three games.

Site -- Angel Stadium.

TV -- FSN West tonight and Sunday; Channel 9 Saturday night.

Radio -- 710, 1020.

Records -- Angels 27-20, Royals 13-34.

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Record vs. Royals -- 1-2.

Tonight, 7 p.m. -- Paul Byrd (4-4, 4.19) vs. D.J. Carrasco (0-1, 5.40).

Saturday, 7 p.m. -- Kelvim Escobar (1-2, 3.91) vs. Ryan Jensen (1-0, 3.60).

Sunday, 1 p.m. -- Bartolo Colon (5-3, 2.53) vs. Runelvys Hernandez (2-6, 5.11).


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