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Johnny Giavotella tightens grip on second base job in Angels’ 8-4 win

Johnny Giavotella enhanced his chances of earning the Angels second baseman position with three hits against the Cubs on Wednesday.

Johnny Giavotella enhanced his chances of earning the Angels second baseman position with three hits against the Cubs on Wednesday.

(Matt York / Associated Press)

Angels 8, Chicago Cubs 4

AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols highlighted a four-run fifth by turning on a Jason Motte 96-mph fastball and driving it well beyond the left-field wall for a three-run home run, his fourth homer in six games. C.J. Cron capped a four-run third with a two-run triple. He also singled in the fifth and is batting .412 (21 for 51) on the spring. Johnny Giavotella tightened his grip on the second-base job with three hits, and has nine hits in 20 at-bats. “He’s getting a chance, and he’s feeling more comfortable on the defensive end,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Giavotella. “We need someone to step up, and he’s doing a nice job.”

ON THE MOUND: Jered Weaver allowed four runs — three earned — and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking none and giving up home runs to Mike Olt and Travis Wood, a pitcher who pinch-hit for starter Eric Jokisch in the fifth. Relievers Vinnie Pestano, Fernando Salas and Mike Morin pitched in back-to-back games for the first time this spring, and did not give up a run.

EXTRA BASES: Kole Calhoun suffered a bruised right triceps when he was hit by a pitch in the first. The right fielder’s arm stiffened, and he was pulled in the second, but the injury is not believed to be serious. … Third baseman David Freese will give his hyperextended left elbow a few more days to heal before returning to the lineup. … Outfielder/first baseman Marc Krauss, out since Monday because of lower-back spasms, took batting practice Thursday and hopes to play Friday.

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UP NEXT: Arizona Diamondbacks at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Friday at 1 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.


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