Ryan helps Angels attempt comeback

Ryan helps Angels attempt comeback

ROCKIES (ss) 7, ANGELS 5
at Tempe, Ariz.
Friday, March 5

Angels at the plate: Designated hitter Torii Hunter lashed a double off the left-field wall in the third after Maicer Izturis' single. Michael Ryan, batting for Hunter, singled home two runs after Terry Evans' bases-loaded single drove in one. Izturis had two walks to go with his hit for a perfect day leading off. Robb Quinlan's single and Reggie Willits' walk started a four-run fifth inning. Peter Bourjos walked, stole second and scored on a double-play grounder.

Rockies at the plate: Ian Stewart tripled, doubled and singled. Clint Barmes unloaded his first spring homer two hitters into the game, and Stewart followed a Ryan Spilborghs double and a walk with a two-run triple. Miguel Olivo followed with a 380-foot sacrifice fly. Right fielder Cole Garner crushed a full-count homer and tripled off the wall. Olivo doubled home a run after Stewart's single in the third against former Rockies closer Brian Fuentes. Stewart added a double in the fifth.

Angels on the mound: Young right-hander Sean O'Sullivan had a rough start, yielding a homer, double, triple and a walk before getting out of a four-run first inning with a strikeout. Garner took O'Sullivan deep on a 3-2 count with one out in the second, the final pitch thrown by O'Sullivan. Fuentes struck out two men, yielding a run on a walk and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Trevor Bell got four outs of scoreless relief, striking out one. Lefty Trevor Reckling, the team's premier pitching prospect, left two men in scoring position by striking out Olivo and Matt Miller for a scoreless fifth before yielding a triple by Garner and a two-out RBI single by Chris Nelson.

Rockies on the mound: Entering in the fourth, Ubaldo Jimenez worked one perfect inning before three singles and two walks led to a four-run fifth inning. He struck out three in two innings. After walking the first two hitters, lefty Greg Smith, starting with Jimenez delayed by traffic, got Hunter to hit into a double play and struck out Juan Rivera to escape the first inning. Righty Matt Daley left two men in scoring position in the third by catching Rivera looking at a third strike.

Worth noting: A superb sliding catch in right field by Garner robbed Bobby Abreu of a hit in the third inning. Reggie Willits covered a lot of ground to left-center to flag down Olivo's sac fly. Ranging far to his left, Stewart at third took a hit away from Kendrick in the fifth.

Cactus League records: Angels 0-1-1; Rockies 2-1

Up next: Jered Weaver, the early favorite to emerge as the ace of the staff, makes his spring debut when the Angels travel to Phoenix on Saturday to face the Athletics and lefty Dallas Braden at 12:05 p.m. PT. Right-handers Ryan Brasier and Rafael Rodriguez are expected to follow Weaver to the mound.

Having experienced biceps tendinitis in past offseasons, Weaver took the initiative this winter.

"I tried throwing, playing catch earlier this winter than in the past, and I think it helped," he said. "I haven't felt that biceps tendinitis. It tightens up sometimes if I sit too much in the offseason.

"Your body's going to change every year. It's a matter of finding out the program that works for you."

Stalled somewhat by this recurring biceps issue last spring, he was the fourth starter to open the 2009 season even with the absence of Lackey and Santana. Finishing with career bests across the board -- he was 16-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 211 innings -- Weaver worked Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Angel Stadium against Boston after Lackey had stifled the Red Sox in the opener.

Weaver outdueled Josh Beckett while shutting down Boston on one run and two hits across 7 1/3 dominant innings. "I have to say for me, that was the highlight of my career," Weaver said. "Coming off the mound and hearing the cheering ... that was an awesome experience."

The Rockies will begin their 18th and final Hi Corbett Field schedule on Saturday at 1:10 p.m. MT against the Brewers. It's also the beginning of pitcher Tim Redding's candidacy to make the squad as a non-roster invitee. Redding, who has been a starter for most of his career, will start Saturday, but unless one of the projected starters is unable to start in April, his best chance might be in the bullpen. Lefty Chris Narveson, a onetime Rockies Minor Leaguer, is scheduled to start for the Brewers.

Scheduled to follow Redding are Jhoulys Chacin, Al Alburquerque, Edgmer Escalona and Shane Lindsay.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.