Pineiro has off-speed day

Pineiro has off-speed day

Pineiro has off-speed day
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro makes his living with his two-seam fastball, but he needs to surround it with other pitches to keep hitters off balance.

Pineiro spent a warm Tuesday afternoon working on his off-speed stuff -- and it didn't go quite as well as he would have liked against the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex.

Hanging a few sliders and changeups in hitting zones, Pineiro had his first rocky outing of the spring, yielding four earned runs on eight hits and a walk in four innings. He did have lively stuff, getting five strikeouts, including Orlando Hudson and Chase Headley twice each.

"Overall, not bad," said Pineiro, who'd yielded one earned run across nine innings in his first three outings. "You want to still do good, but it's a matter of working on some things. I threw a lot more sliders and changes than I normally would in a game. I've got to execute them better than I did today. A lot of balls were up.

"You need to have [the secondary pitches] ready for when the season starts. Even though you can throw them in the bullpen, it's not the same as with a hitter up there in a game situation. When you leave a ball up, you see what happens."

Eric Patterson in the second inning and Ryan Ludwick in the third smacked two-run homers for the Padres. But the Angels were even more deadly against lefty Wade LeBlanc, enabling Pineiro to keep intact his remarkable spring run of 27 appearances without sustaining a loss.

Pineiro was pleased to extend himself to 72 pitches by the Angels' count -- 66 by, with 46 strikes -- after reaching 51 in his previous outing.

"That's a big difference," he said. "When I'm attacking the hitters like I normally do, I keep my pitch counts down."