Angels' pickoffs tough on opposing runners

Angels' pickoffs tough on opposing runners

BALTIMORE -- The Angels are controlling the running game a lot better this season, and the success of the pickoff play has played a major factor.

When Jered Weaver flipped quickly to throw out the Orioles' Manny Machado at second in Tuesday's second inning, it went for the Angels' 12th out recorded via pickoff this season, representing the second-highest total in the Majors. Last year, the Halos finished with only 10, the diminished threat paving the way for a stolen-base rate -- 79 percent -- that was the third-highest in baseball.

This year's total has dropped to 69 percent, good enough to put the Angels in the top 10.

"When you have so many left-handed starters, there's going to be some first moves that go against you, and you're going to pick some guys off on first moves because of the nature of what guys are trying to do," manager Mike Scioscia said on Wednesday. "That part doesn't surprise me. But in controlling the whole running game, I think we're doing a much better job this year."

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.