It took three and a half hours, but it happened: The Angels won a game.
They scored in mind-numbing fashion, piling on former Angel Matt Palmer (two-thirds of an inning, seven runs) and former Mariner Sean White (two-thirds of an inning, five runs) for 11 unearned runs on four Dodger errors.
The quality of play didn’t make the game come alive, but a standing-room only crowd of 6,744 did. They got their money’s worth. Jered Weaver made his long-awaited debut and a patient Josh Hamilton belted his first home run. And the Angels won.
The bullet points:
• When Hamilton was asked by hitting coach Jim Eppard what he wanted to work on in spring training, he chose patience. Hamilton worked deep into the count in both of his plate appearances today (he saw 16 pitches by one count). His home run on a 3-2 slider from Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed him to get extended on an inside pitch, something that elite power hitters can do like it’s nothing while others just dream about it.
• The third inning was a rough one for Kevin Jepsen. He allowed a leadoff single to Wilkin Castillo, walked Dee Gordon, and was temporarily bailed out of disaster on a terrific defensive play by Luis Jimenez. The third baseman dove to his right to glove a scorching grounder by Skip Schumaker, tagged the bag to retire Castillo and popped up to deliver a strike to first base ahead of Schumaker. With Gordon’s speed, a double down the line would have driven in two runs. With two outs, Jepsen wild-pitched Gordon to third base, then gave up back-to-back RBI doubles to Yasiel Puig and Luis Cruz. Jepsen’s line: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. And, from the meaningless stat department, he blew the save but got the win.
• Does anyone else refuse to believe that Weaver’s first start, and the Angels’ first win, were purely a coincidence?
• Matt Young tripled in two at-bats and is hitting .700 (7 for 10) this spring.
• The box score is here.