Hunter tastes the wall, saves the game

Torii Hunter not only is one of the best defensive outfielders the game has every known, he is also unbeatable when it comes to a good quote. Hunter was in fine form Friday night at Angel Stadium against the Texas Rangers. He robbed Marlon Byrd of extra bases (Hunter claimed the drive would have left the park) and helped preserve the Angels’ 3-1 victory. Hunter crashed face-first into the padded wall while making what he called one of the best catches in his career. Afterward he was just as dazzling with his quotes.

“Oh man, Byrd is one of those guys that likes to go to right-center and I was playing in the other gap,” Hunter said. “It was a long run and the ball was beating me there. I caught the ball but went face-first into the wall. I tasted it too. It was pretty nasty.”

And then there was this one:

“It was pretty painful,” Hunter said. “I wish I could describe it, but I think you saw my facial expression afterward. I was in pain. … That was one of my favorites because I went face first and everybody was talking about me. It felt like Mike Tyson hit me. It was pretty ludicrous.”

And if that wasn’t enough, Hunter said the wall tasted like “collard greens.” He suggested the team install a strawberry flavored wall in the near future.

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Angels' Loux gets top honor

Angels’ rookie relief pitcher Shane Loux was just rewarded for his work done before joining the big-league team earlier this month. Loux (pronounced Lukes) was named the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year for his work with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. Loux was 12-6 with a 3.98 ERA. The victories are tied for the lead league and the ERA still leads the league.

Loux has made four appearances with the Angels this month and has not allowed an earned run. Today’s award comes two days after Loux was named the top right-handed pitcher on the 2008 all-PCL team

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Frankie's 50th earns player of the week

Francisco Rodriguez was just named American League Player of the week for his performance in the week ending Sunday. Not only did Rodriguez record his 50th save of the season Sunday against the Twins, he had four scoreless innings during the week. He had three saves against playoff contenders Tampa Bay and Minnesota. Surprisingly, it is the first time Rodriguez has won the player-of-the-week award.

Jason Bay of the Red Sox, Aubrey Huff of the Orioles and White Sox teammates Nick Swisher and Alexi Ramirez also were up for the award.

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The Angels' hit list

With Garret Anderson extending his hit streak to 21 games Monday, he is now within seven games of his team-record hit streak. Here is the list of the best hit streaks in team history:

28 – Garret Anderson (1998)
25 – Rod Carew (1982)
23 – Jim Edmonds (1995)
22 – Sandy Alomar (1970)
21 – Darin Erstad (2005)
Robb Quinlan (2004)
Randy Velarde (1996)
Bobby Grich (1981)
Garret Anderson (2008)

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Mariners cut into Angels TV time

Apparently the Seattle Mariners’ struggles this season have cost the Angels a chance at another nationally televised game. Fox has informed the Angels they are not interested in televising their Saturday, Sept. 13 game against the Mariners.

That game was supposed to start at 12:55 p.m., but since it won’t be on national television, the Angels are changing it to a 6:05 p.m. start. Starting the game in the evening is the only way the Angels could televise it locally. The game will likely be broadcast on FSN West, although the Angels have not finalized that plan.

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Napoli getting close to a return

Mike Napoli is expected to play all nine innings in a rehab start at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night. Napoli, out with a bad right shoulder, could be back on the roster by the end of the week.

Never been to Rancho Cucamonga to see a game? Tuesday might be the perfect night. Not only will Napoli play, the Quakes are putting on a promotion where tickets are selling for $5.40. That would be in honor of the 5.4 magnitude earthquake that was centered in Chino Hills last week.

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Angels make bullpen move

The Angels just announced that side-arm relief pitcher Darren O’Day was optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake. To take his place on the roster, Shane Loux had his contract purchased by the club.

O’Day was in his second stint with the Angels this season and his most recent stay began June 9. He originally made the roster out of spring training. He had been scored upon just three times in his 11 outings since June 9, but gave up at least three runs each time. He pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday but in the series opener Thursday he gave up three runs without getting an out.

Loux (pronnounced “Lukes”) was 12-6 with a 3.98 ERA at Salt Lake in 22 starts. He did not have a relief appearance. Loux finally gives the Angels a long man in the bullpen, something they haven’t had since Dustin Moseley was last with the team.

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