Morales hits grand slam, Angels beat Dodgers 6-4
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Kendry Morales hit a go-ahead grand slam off Chad Billingsley and the Angels beat the Dodgers 6-4 Saturday in the final spring game for both Southern California teams.
Joel Pineiro allowed four runs and seven hits over four innings for the Angels. The right-hander, who signed a $16 million, two-year contract in January as a free agent, was 4-0 with a 4.38 ERA in six starts this spring and is scheduled to make his first official start for his new team on Wednesday.
The three-time defending AL West champions open the season at home on Monday night against the Twins, with Jered Weaver scheduled to face Minnesota's Scott Baker. But left-hander Scott Kazmir will miss at least one turn in the rotation because of a strained right hamstring. Kazmir is on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 31, and will be replaced by reliever Matt Palmer.
``There's no setbacks with Kaz at all. It's just a matter of time for him to get stretched out and get a little deeper into the game,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``He's been right at about 70 pitches, so he'll need two good outings to get to at least 90 pitches and repeat it. Then he'll be ready for a game.''
The Halos also purchased the contract of utility infielder Robb Quinlan, the second-longest tenured player on the team behind reliever Scot Shields, who is the only player left from the 2002 world championship club. Quinlan has been a member of the Angels since 2003.
``Q's a guy who can sit for a while and then put the bat on the ball. But his defensive versatility and his ability to play first base is what separated him from the rest right now,'' Scioscia said.
The Dodgers, coming off their second straight NL West title, are at Pittsburgh on Tuesday for their season opener. They optioned infielder Chin-lung Hu, catcher A.J. Ellis and outfielder Xavier Paul. But manager Joe Torre won't put the finishing touches on his 25-man roster until the team gets there.
``We're ready to go. But when you get out there in competition, you pretty much find out,'' Torre said. ``I mean, I'm comfortable going in with the fact that we have a lot of players back. But it's going to come down to how well we pitch. When we left last spring to start the season, we certainly didn't expect our bullpen to be as good as it was. So hopefully, we can have more pleasant surprises like that.''
Vicente Padilla is slated to start on opening day against Pittsburgh's Zach Duke, and Billingsley is scheduled to make his season debut on Thursday. He threw 75 pitches in just 2 2-3 innings against the Angels, allowing six runs and six hits. He finished the spring with a 4.67 ERA in five starts.
Brian Fuentes, who led the majors with a career-high 48 saves last season for the Angels, pitched a scoreless eighth against the Dodgers.
``I feel good right now, and that's all that matters,'' he said. ``I'm not looking too far ahead. I know there are a lot of things that are going to happen throughout the next six months, and I'm sure there will be highs and lows, but I'm confident right now that I'm going to go out and pitch well.''
Morales, who finished spring training with three homers and a team-high 18 RBIs, connected in the third to make it 6-3. He drove a 1-2 pitch down the right-field line and off the second-deck facade to cap a five-run rally that included Torii Hunter's RBI single. It was the first homer allowed by Billingsley this spring.
NOTES: Dodgers RHP Hiroki Kuroda worked four innings in his first relief outing this spring, striking out five and retiring his last 12 batters after Mike Napoli greeted him with a leadoff double in the fifth. ... Twelve of Napoli's 14 hits have been for extra bases, including six home runs. ... Hideki Matsui wore the wrong batting practice cap when he took the field - all red instead of navy blue with a red bill. That was a violation of the Angels' ``Kangaroo Court,'' and the punishment will be buying dinner for manager Mike Scioscia and his coaches at a future date. ... Reserve OF Reggie Willits and RHP Anthony Ortega also will start the season on the Angels' disabled list, Willits because of a right hamstring strain, and Ortega with tendinitis in his triceps. The club optioned C Ryan Budde, OF Peter Bourjos and INF Freddy Sandoval to Triple-A Salt Lake.