DETROIT -- When they talk about short relief, this is what they have in mind. Angels reliever Fernando Rodney made quick work of his former team, the Tigers, in a relief job on Thursday, needing only seven pitches to get three outs in a perfect inning.
"All two-seamers, one changeup -- a ball," Rodney said. "I felt good, free and easy. That's what I'm looking for. It was a good game for me."
Rodney has been spotless in two outings since returning from an upper back strain that cost him five weeks. But he was dealing even before he went on the DL. Over his past nine outings, he has given up one hit for an .048 batting average. Right-handers are hitting .125 against him in 42 at-bats this season.
"That's beautiful," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said when asked if perhaps Rodney needed a more strenuous workout than seven pitches. "We're limiting him to one inning now. If there's a need to expand, we will."
Maybe the Angels aren't in need of relief, as widely reported, after all. Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi have been solid from the left side, and Jordan Walden has the right stuff to be a dominant closer. Rich Thompson and Bobby Cassevah also have been effective in the bridge role, and new arrival Horacio Ramirez offers the luxury of a third lefty.