On Opening Day Mike Scioscia and the Angels gave off a distinct impression that 2009 may turn out to be just more of the same for the Halos. With concerns about the rotation and even Saunders arm, Joe went out and threw a gem. He went 6.2 innings surrendering just three hits, with two strikeouts. Always humble Saunders turned the credit over to his teammates, “made pitches when I needed them and got great defense from my guys.”
One of the big questions entering this season surrounded the offense, last night, at least those problems were addressed. Bobby Abreu singled on his first at bat as an Angel, continuing his streak of 13 straight Opening Days with a hit. Howie Kendrick who I identified as being key to the Angels hopes this season got a head start last night. The Angels second-baseman drove in their first run of the season with a single to right field in the bottom of the third. In the fifth inning he crushed the Halos first home run of the season pacing the Angels to a 3-0 lead. The heart of the Angels lineup, Kendrick-Abreu-Guerrero-Hunter didn’t disappoint last night combining for six hits and all three RBIs.
After Saunders terrific performance Scioscia and company turned to the Angels capable bullpen. Set-up men Jose Arredendo and Scot Shields sat down all four batters they faced before new Angels closer Brian Fuentes made his debut. Brian converted with the expertise Halos fans have come to expect from their closer, three up, three down and the Angels had their first victory of 2009. For Fuentes it marked his 18th straight converted save, and for the Angels it was their first Opening Day shutout since 1978.
Angels vs. Athletics
Dustin Moseley (RHP) vs. Trevor Cahill (RHP)
7:05 PM PT
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Written by Nich Hall