Angels’ win over A’s is a game of give and take for Peter Bourjos
By Mike DiGiovanna
Los Angeles Times
September 28, 2010
Peter Bourjos lost a three-run home run in the seventh inning Tuesday night when instant replay was used to overturn third-base umpire CB Bucknor’s initial call on Bourjos’ fly ball down the left-field line, which was clearly foul.
But the rookie center fielder showed some take-away abilities, as well, diving into the gap in left-center field to rob Rajai Davis of a potential triple in the third inning and leaping above the wall in straight-away center to rob Landon Powell of a two-run homer in the fourth to help the Angels defeat the Oakland Athletics, 4-2, in Angel Stadium.
“He’s a tremendous athlete, and this is just the early stages,” said Torii Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner who moved from center field to right to make way for Bourjos. “Think about when he gets comfortable and he figures out what hitters are doing, how strong they are, where to position himself.”
Dan Haren gave up two runs and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one, to improve to 4-4 with the Angels, but he wouldn’t have won without the defensive help of Bourjos.
“The plays he made … he took away a triple from Davis and a two-run homer from Powell,” Haren said. “He’s amazing out there. The jumps he gets and the ground he covers … he’s special. I didn’t think he had a chance on the ball Davis hit, but he closes ground so quickly. If he’s close, he usually gets to it.”
The speedy Bourjos, who was called up from triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 3, has been getting good jumps and running good routes in the outfield, but he hesitated for a split second on the ball Powell hit in the fourth.
“At first, I wasn’t sure how well he hit it — it took me a second to realize he crushed it,” Bourjos said. “Once I realized that, I took off and just tried to find the wall. At the last minute, I looked up and the ball was right there. I jumped up and caught it.”
It marked the third time this season that Bourjos has robbed an opponent of a home run, but Hunter called the play on Powell’s blast on Tuesday night Bourjos’ best effort.
“He gave me goose bumps,” Hunter said.
“That’s a pretty good compliment,” Bourjos said.