Saunders unable to take the fifth

first_imgSEATTLE — The Angels hoped Joe Saunders would be the answer for filling the fifth spot in the starting rotation with left-hander Jarrod Washburn on the shelf with forearm tendinitis. That answer turned out to be incorrect as Saunders was rocked by the Seattle Mariners for six runs in just two innings on Wednesday, which helped put the Angels in a 6-0 hole before the sun could even break through the morning cloud cover. If the Angels skip the fifth spot and ace Bartolo Colon remains on his normal four days’ rest, he’ll pitch Tuesday against Texas. But that would also put him in line to miss the following critical four-game series against Oakland. “There’s a lot between now and that Oakland series, but if we have to juggle, we’ll get him in that series somewhere,” Scioscia said. Colon is scheduled to pitch today against Detroit when he can become the first Angel since Nolan Ryan in 1974 to win 20 games. Colon won a combined 20 games during stops in Cleveland and Montreal in 2002. – The Angels were also the beneficiaries of the Seattle rotation. Despite playing the Mariners nine times in three different three-game series over the past month, the Angels never had to face 19-year-old rookie phenom Felix Hernandez. Hernandez is 3-3 with a 2.33 ERA in eight starts this season. He has struck out 55 batters in 58 innings and is allowing opponents a .187 batting average. “We’re going to have to face him (eventually), we don’t look at it as catching a break,” Scioscia said. “There’s no denying he’s a special pitcher, but the last couple nights (Joel) Pineiro and (Ryan) Franklin have pitched as well as anyone.” — Keven Chavez can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The search for the answer will continue as Angels manager Mike Scioscia suggested Washburn’s injury isn’t likely to be a quick fix. “(Washburn) is feeling better but it could be more than one start (missed),” Scioscia said. “He’ll pitch when he’s at a level that he can go out there and compete and not be at risk.” The other possibility for Wednesday’s start was Kelvim Escobar, but Scioscia elected to keep him in the bullpen. That didn’t work out either as Escobar was touched up for four hits and two runs in two innings of relief. “On the mound we weren’t very good today,” Scioscia said. “It obviously wasn’t what we anticipated.” – The Angels might take advantage of Monday’s off-day to either skip the fifth spot or juggle the rotation entirely. center_img It certainly wasn’t for lack of strength. Saunders hadn’t pitched since Sept. 1 with Triple-A Salt Lake. “My arm felt good, probably too good,” the 24-year-old rookie said. “I just didn’t have the stuff today. Two weeks off and I didn’t have the command.” last_img

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