CLEVELAND -- Ernesto Frieri provided an encouraging sign during Saturday night's low-leverage ninth inning, retiring the side in order for the first time since July 19 -- on a strikeout, a flyout and a groundout -- to record the final outs of a 7-2 win against the Indians.
But Angels manager Mike Scioscia will continue to handle the ninth by committee, with the likes of Dane De La Rosa, Kevin Jepsen and Michael Kohn all likely to get opportunities.
"Ernie's going to get a chance to save games, and the other guys will, too," Scioscia said. "But that was very encouraging last night, just to see the command he had. The late life was close to what we expect, and he had a clean inning."
Frieri, who spent Sunday morning working closely on his mechanics with pitching coach Mike Butcher, entered Saturday's outing with a 23.14 ERA in his previous seven relief appearances, giving up 12 runs on 15 hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings to balloon his ERA to a career-high 4.69.
His main concern lately: getting the late life on his patented two-seam fastball back.
"He'd be throwing a few more four-seam fastballs this year to see if he can locate better and got away from some of the late life on his two-seamer," Scioscia said. "He tried to introduce some off-speed and a changeup, too, and it got to be where his primary stuff was getting a little watered down. He's been trying to get back to basics."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less