Mark Trumbo, C.J. Wilson shine in Angels’ win over Giants
Mark Trumbo didn’t have long to think about the first ball hit to him at third base this spring, and that was probably a good thing.
Trumbo, forced off first base by the signing of Albert Pujols, made a diving grab of Joaquin Arias’ line drive to his left for the final out of the second inning, one of the highlights of the Angels’ 9-5 exhibition victory over the San Francisco Giants in Tempe Diablo Stadium.
“They don’t call it the hot corner for nothing,” Trumbo said. “It was just a reaction play. I was happy.”
Trumbo, who did not see any action at third base in three innings of Wednesday’s game against Seattle, also fielded Justin Christian’s routine grounder in the third inning and threw to first base for the out. He was playing back and had no play on Christian’s bunt single to third in the fifth inning.
As if to remind a sellout crowd of 9,638 why it’s important for the Angels to find room for him in the lineup this season, Trumbo, who led the team with 29 homers and 87 runs batted in last season, crushed a two-run homer to left-center field in the fifth.
“It’s a start,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said of Trumbo’s defensive effort. “We’re looking for him to make the routine plays. He was getting great jumps on balls, and he made a great diving play to his left. He needs to get acclimated, confident, and hopefully he keeps progressing.”
Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, in his second spring start, gave up one hit and struck out two in three scoreless innings. Of his 42 pitches, seven or eight were changeups, a pitch Wilson said he “literally learned in January” but is trying to incorporate into his already vast repertoire this season.
“I’m getting swings and outs with it, which is good,” said Wilson, the former Texas Rangers ace who signed a five-year, $77.5-million deal with the Angels in December. “Like everything else in baseball, it’s repetition. The more you throw it, the better you get at it, and the better you get at it, the more feel you have for it.”
Control has been a problem for Wilson, who led the American League with 93 walks in 2010 and walked 74 in 2011, but he believes a good changeup could reduce the number of free passes he issues.
“I’m trying to have better control -- a lot of that has to do with going deep into counts and trying to strike out too many guys,” Wilson said. “Today, I was getting groundouts with the changeup. I’m trying to get outs within two or three pitches.”
The man who followed Wilson to the mound had a rough spring debut. Veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins was tagged for three runs and four hits in the fourth inning.
Erick Aybar, Jean Segura and Kole Calhoun each had two hits for the Angels, and Luis Jiminez hit a two-run home run.
Reserve catcher Bobby Wilson was pulled from the game in the fifth inning because of tightness in a quadriceps muscle, but the injury is not believed to be serious.
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