Bullpen put through paces in marathon vs. Boston

Bullpen put through paces in marathon vs. Boston

DETROIT -- Six relievers combined to pitch five innings in the Angels' 14-13, extra-inning victory over the Red Sox on Thursday. Though it was a much-needed win for the Halos, it comes at a cost, as the bullpen is a bit taxed heading into the three-game series with the Tigers.

"It was definitely well worth it, obviously," pitching coach Mike Butcher said. "But tonight we need a good start [from Zack Greinke], and we'll kind of piece it together at the back end."

Manager Mike Scioscia wasn't too worried, mostly because eating innings is what the bullpen has become accustomed to doing. The starters' outings have been cut short -- they have a 6.27 ERA in August.

"For the last two months, I think, that's the biggest issue," Scioscia said.

"You can absorb it or reset after a game like last night, and it shouldn't take that long, but our issue's really been ... so many innings having to come out of our bullpen, and it will take its toll. We'll reset and have the arms we need to hold leads."

Holding leads isn't something the bullpen has been especially successful at doing. Since the All-Star break, the unit has a 5.98 ERA.

On Thursday, starter CJ Wilson allowed six earned runs but exited with a lead. Right-hander Jason Isringhausen took over and immediately gave up the game-tying run. Jordan Walden allowed a run, Garrett Richards allowed two and Ernesto Frieri yielded a pair as well, although he was credited with the win.

Including both starters and relievers, the Angels' 6.57 ERA in August is the worst in the league.

"You don't expect the kind of issues that have been staff-wide," Scioscia said. "I think every time a pitcher takes the mound, you expect him to get it done and pitch to his potential. ... There's more focus on what [the bullpen's] pitches mean to the outcome of the games, there's more attention to it, but the starters have struggled, too."

Scioscia declined to say which relievers would be available out of the bullpen on Friday, saying only, "There's definitely some guys we'll stay away from."