TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Joe Blanton’s spring training debut for the Los Angeles Angels breezed by quickly.
Blanton allowed a first-inning solo homer to Brian Bogusevic in his first game in an Angels’ uniform, a 4-2 loss to a Chicago Cubs’ split squad Sunday.
“I just try to do the same thing every spring and that’s to throw a lot of strikes coming out of the gate, probably a little more plate than you do in the middle of the season,” Blanton said.
Blanton gave up just the one hit in two innings, struck out two and walked none. He threw 20 pitches.
“Working quickly has always been to my benefit verses the hitter,” Blanton said. “I’m going to try to keep my team on the field on their toes. If it’s a quick inning I can get my hitters back in there without them being out on the field all day. That’s kind of the way I’ve worked. I feel comfortable just getting the ball and going.”
Blanton was 10-13 with a 4.71 ERA for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. He agreed to a $15 million, two-year deal with the Angels during the offseason.
“I think for the first outing you couldn’t ask for anything more,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ” He pounded the zone, no doubt. Just pulled a couple of pitches middle in. … Joe likes to keep that tempo, and when he’s going he wants to keep that ball and keep that feel.”
Nick Struck, the Chicago Cubs’ minor league pitcher of the year, made his second exhibition appearance and gave up two hits in three scoreless innings.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol got into a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the fourth when Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo singled, and Chris Iannetta was hit by a pitch. Andrew Romine grounded into a run-scoring, 4-6-3 double play, and Caleb Cowart lined out.
Brad Nelson hit a solo homer for the Cubs.
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