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Angels

Andrelton Simmons gets his first hit of the spring as Angels hold off Rockies 9-7

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Angels’ Matt Thaiss runs during a spring training baseball in Glendale, Ariz.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

The Angels beat the Colorado Rockies 9-7 on Wednesday at Salt River Fields and improved to 4-2 in Cactus League play.

AT THE PLATE: Andrelton Simmons hit a sharp ground ball through the right side of the infield for his first hit of the spring. According to Statcast data, which is only available in the Cactus League at Salt River, Simmons’ single registered a velocity of 93.5 mph off the bat, a six-mph improvement over how hard he struck baseballs in 2018. … First base prospect Matt Thaiss collected his seventh and eighth RBI of the spring. He finished two-for-two and scored a run. “I don’t want to say anything because I don’t wanna jinx him,” said manager Brad Ausmus. … After he entered the game as a substitute, minor leaguer Bo Way reached third on a bases-clearing hit that was misplayed in right field. Two runs scored, increasing the Angels’ lead to 9-6. … Way, a seventh-round pick of the Angels in the 2014 draft who is in minor league camp as a two-way player, hit a triple in the ninth inning. … The Angels recorded 11 hits, two of them doubles knocked in by Anaheim native Jose Rojas.

ON THE MOUND: Starter Trevor Cahill was economical in the first inning, throwing 13 pitches to retire three consecutive batters, but he had trouble locating the strike zone in the second inning. He allowed three walks and two singles. Three runs scored, the first of them on a hit to shallow left field that fell between Cesar Puello and Simmons. Simmons ranged back from short and laid out to attempt a play on the ball but couldn’t come up with it. In all, Cahill was charged five earned runs. … New Angels closer Cody Allen pitched a clean inning in his spring debut. He said his curveball, a pitch that lost some velocity last season, felt better coming out of his hand. “He mixed his pitches really well,” Ausmus said. “A really good first outing.” … Top pitching prospects Griffin Canning and Jose Suarez also appeared in their first game of the spring. They both worked quickly, retiring all three batters they faced.

EXTRA BASES: Spring numbers don’t matter, so it’s foolish to read much into what a prospect is doing in Cactus League play. But Thaiss is slugging 1.400 over 10 at-bats. He has driven in eight runs and collected five extra-base hits. “He’s the best player on the planet,” veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun joked when asked if teammates had begun teasing the prospect. “I let him know.”

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UP NEXT: The Angels will host the Texas Rangers at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday at noon PST. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs is slated to start. TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 830.

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maria.torres@latimes.com

@maria_torres3

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