Baseball / Sports

Angels fall to Yankees; team is 0-7 when Santiago starts

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hector Santiago pitched poorly and disrespected his manager Wednesday, and he recognized both mistakes.

The struggling Angels left-hander showed up Mike Scioscia by walking off the mound when the manager headed there to remove him in the third inning of a 9-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium. The two met several steps off the mound and Santiago handed him the ball angrily.

"That's almost childish right there, walking off on him," Santiago said afterward. "I apologized to him already maybe four times. ...That's just me being a competitor, wanting to be out there. I was just disappointed in myself when I saw that right arm go up to the bullpen."

Santiago struggled from Wednesday's get-go, although a couple bad plays in the field didn't help. He walked the first Yankee. Then Derek Jeter's routine fly ball was dropped when Mike Trout and Collin Cowgill ran into each other. Cowgill was charged with an error. Santiago allowed another walk and a two-run double.

"It's just a tough start for him," Scioscia said. "Even if you take away those miscues, Hector was just not effective tonight and that's disappointing."

After another run scored in the first, Santiago induced a comebacker from Brett Gardner, only to miss Albert Pujols at first base with an erratic throw, allowing one more run to come in.

Worse, both Santiago and Pujols appeared to hurt themselves on the play, the left-hander turning his right ankle and Pujols massaging his left elbow. But they stayed in the game, and Santiago gave up a homer to Derek Jeter in the second inning for New York's sixth run.

The Angels (16-17) are 0-7 when Santiago starts and 16-10 when anyone else starts, a mammoth discrepancy reminiscent of Joe Blanton. The Angels opened 2013 with eight straight losses in Blanton starts.

"Right now, it's like I'm not even giving us a chance to win," Santiago said.

The Angels got a run in the second inning on back-to-back singles from Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron and an Erick Aybar groundout. They added one more in the eighth, when Trout led off with a walk and Cron delivered a two-out double.

HAMILTON STILL ON 6-8 WEEK TIMETABLE

For a while, Josh Hamilton was hoping to defy medical history and return from the torn ligament in his thumb in a month, not the 6-8 weeks his surgeon stressed.

Now, Hamilton says he's come to grips with reality after some convincing by Dr. Steven Shin.

"I just conceded to the fact that he's not going to let me come back before six weeks," Hamilton said Wednesday. "Each week, he says you should get about 20 percent better. By Week 5, I should be about 90 percent, and by Week 6, I'll be 100 percent and he'll let me go without my splint."

Six weeks from Hamilton's April 11 surgery would be May 23, the day the Angels begin a homestand-concluding three-game series with the Kansas City Royals. He expects to be able to play then. It not, he says he'll definitely be back May 26, when the Angels return to Seattle, where he initially hurt himself sliding headfirst into first base.

"Back where it started," Hamilton said, grinning.

Wednesday, he took one-handed swings off a tee on the field for the first time. He had been taking similar cuts in the batting cages for several days but desired a change of scenery.

"It felt good," Hamilton said. "I wanted to get out on the field and try to mentally stay the same as the cage."

As the Angels head to Toronto and Philadelphia for a six-game trip, Hamilton will head to the team's extended spring-training facility in Arizona. He'll take two-handed swings off a tee Friday and hopes to take live batting practice a week later.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been markedly less specific about a potential return date for the slugging outfielder.

"Every day he's getting closer, but you never know where that finish line is," Scioscia said. "From a medical department standpoint, there still has to be a certain amount of time to let this thing heal properly. You can't rush that. You can't rush Mother Nature."

TROUT'S STRIKEOUTS

Even Mike Trout is not immune to slumps, he's proving of late.

The 22-year-old center fielder has watched his average fall from .327 on April 28 to .287 through Wednesday with a 3-for-26 stretch.

A weeklong slump is not cause for concern, especially because he has kept his on-base percentage up by drawing nine walks. But his season strikeout total � 40 � is mildly alarming, because it puts him on pace to come close to 200.

His previous career-high is 139, but Scioscia said it's not a big deal.

"It's part of the cyclical thing in a lot of players' games," Scioscia said. "Mike occasionally has some strikeouts. But he's fine. He's no different."

NOTES

Trout and Jered Weaver carried a stand-up paddleboard onto the field to present to Derek Jeter as a farewell gift before the game, likely the retiring shortstop's last in Anaheim. ...

There is a "strong possibility" right-hander Dane De La Rosa (right shoulder irritation) could rejoin the Angels on their upcoming trip, Scioscia said. ...

Left-hander Sean Burnett (torn flexor tendon in left elbow) threw another inning in an extended spring training game and could begin a rehab assignment of his own this weekend. ...

The Angels announced 44,083 tickets sold for Wednesday's game, the third sellout of the season.

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