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

Johnny Giavotella

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.


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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