Pineiro feeling fine following scary collision

Pineiro feeling fine following scary collision

PHOENIX -- In the immortal words of late, great Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, no harm, no foul.

OK, maybe a little harm, but still no foul.

Feeling for a moment as if he'd been run over by a truck -- or Shaquille O'Neal -- Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro eventually climbed to his feet on Friday, gathered his senses and resumed his work at Maryvale Baseball Park against the Brewers.

It was Jim Edmonds, a former teammate in St. Louis, who'd steamrolled Pineiro in a collision neither player saw coming along the first-base line in the bottom of the first, the Angels having scored five times in the top half of the inning.

"He's a good guy, a great leader in the clubhouse for the year and a half we were together," Pineiro said of Edmonds. "He said, `Sorry, I didn't see you.' I said, `I didn't think you were that close.'

"I thought I had time to pick it up and back away," Pineiro said. "It happened so quick. As a runner, he had his head down. As soon as I came up, he got me with the lip of his helmet. "I had a little throbbing."

Pineiro turned to show a nasty welt above his right eye, the result of the collision that had him on the ground, and then on his knees, for several minutes.

The 31-year-old free-agent acquisition had raced off the mound to handle Edmonds' slow roller and was getting his bearings when Edmonds' momentum sent both men down.

Rising relatively quickly, Edmonds -- who established himself in the Major Leagues with the Angels -- came over to make sure his former Cardinals teammate was not seriously injured.

After taking several warmup tosses, Pineiro continued and was in fine form, setting down the first seven hitters he faced. He yielded single runs in the third and fourth innings, departing having yielded two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four men.

"I had a good sinker and was getting ahead in the count," Pineiro said, having thrown 64 pitches. "I had two 0-2 pitches I'd kind of like to take back, but I felt good and got some early-count outs."

Following a 10-5 victory that left the Angels 4-9 in Cactus League play, manager Mike Scioscia was relieved that a potentially harmful incident was avoided by Pineiro, one of his rotation linchpins.

"Any time any player goes down and lands awkwardly, you're worried about it," Scioscia said. "Fortunately for us, all he got was a shiner on his eye. He didn't land on a shoulder, a wrist or a knee.

"He was definitely repeating his sinker in good zones, better than his last outing. He was ahead of the count and threw some good breaking balls. It was definitely a good outing for Joel."

As a former National League Central rival, Pineiro was familiar with the lineup that features Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in the 3-4 spots.

"Not many secrets against that team," Pineiro said. "As long as you execute your pitches, you're OK."

This was Pineiro's third and best outing of the spring. He plans to push ahead to about 80 pitches next time out.

Coming on after Pineiro, closer Brian Fuentes executed several high-quality pitches to strike out both Braun (looking at a fastball) and Fielder (offspeed away, swinging) to leave two runners stranded.

"Brian's throwing good," Scioscia said. "He had good life on his fastball. He looks good."

Informed that a swing would cost him a fine on his way to the game, Pineiro was unable to join the fun as the offense erupted early against Brewers starter Jeff Suppan, striking out twice with the bat on his shoulder.

Bobby Abreu, having missed five days with a tender rib cage, looked to be in midseason form. Following Maicer Izturis' leadoff walk, Abreu hammered a 2-2 pitch the other way, the ball bouncing off the top of the left-field wall and over for his first home run of the spring.

Abreu showed off his strong, accurate arm in the third inning, gunning down pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun as he attempted to stretch an RBI single with a perfect throw from the right-field corner to Izturis at second.

After Abreu's blast, singles by Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales preceded a two-run double to the left-center gap by Juan Rivera. Mike Napoli followed with an RBI single. Suppan struck out Pineiro to end the five-run first.

Morales crushed his second Cactus League homer to right leading off the fifth inning against Chris Smith.

Outscored by 25 runs in their first 14 games, the Angels sustained their offense after the regulars departed, Torii Hunter cracking two hits along with Morales.

Shortstop Gary Patchett delivered singles in two at-bats, driving in a run and scoring another. Peter Bourjos had a two-run single while Terry Evans, Cory Aldridge, Michael Ryan and Freddy Sandoval each smacked doubles in the 15-hit attack.

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