Johnny G., and Geovany Soto back Matt Shoemaker in Los Angeles Angels win

Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella (12) during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella (12) during a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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With all the injuries issues the Los Angeles Angels have had with their pitching staff they needed a good performance from Matt Shoemaker who came into the game with a 14.40 ERA this Spring.  Despite getting into trouble in both the first and second inning Shoemaker was able to get through four innings with respectable numbers and allowed the team to stay in the game until the offense was able to get going.

“Last two innings he was where we have seen Shoe a couple of years ago, that was exciting,” said Angels Mike Scioscia in a post-game interview with Fox Sports Jose Mota. “He had a rough start with command, figured it out and his stuff really looked good.  Hopefully he found something last couple of innings.”

The Angels broke through early thanks to walks to Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout.  Calhoun erased Escobar on a fielder’s choice and would come home to score on an error by shortstop Jurickson Profar on an Albert Pujols.  In the fourth inning Geovany Soto hit a solo homer to left to give the Los Angeles Angels up 2-1.

Cam Bedrosian relieved Shoemaker and started a five inning string of great relief performances pitching a good fifth inning giving up only one hit with a strike out. Greg Mahle continued to impress pitching a stellar 6th inning striking two out in a perfect inning. Fernando Salas got into a jam giving up a leadoff double (Chad Hinshaw lost ball in the sun) later Chris Gimenez walked to make it first and second with one out, but Salas then induced Hanser Alberto to ground into a double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 7th the Angels offense got it together as Cliff Pennington lead off with a walk then moved to second on a Craig Gentry single bringing up Johnny Giavotella who tattooed the Anthony Ranaudo offering over the wall in left for a three-run homer.

The Angels didn’t stop there as Jett Bandy and Chad Hinshaw got back-to-back singles and were sacrificed to third by David Fletcher.  Nick Buss, who has been one of the hottest Angels this Spring hit a sacrifice fly to right scoring Bandy, and then C.J. Cron hit an RBI-single to right to extend the lead to 7-1.

A.J. Achter pitched a perfect 8th with two strike outs and Ramon Ramirez gave up two runs in the 9th by James Jones to make the score 7-3 but got the last three outs to preserve the victory.

With Sunday’s victory the Angels are now at .500 with a 6-6 record. This may have been one of the best performances on both sides of the coin offensively and defensively.

Scioscia was impressed and pleased with the Angels effort. “Guys are getting some at-bats under their feet starting to see the ball better, and putting the ball in play and running the bases great,” said Scioscia to Mota.”We’re moving toward where we want to be as a team, it’s good to see the aggressiveness.”

This start by Shoemaker who finished with four innings pitched giving up two hits and one run with four walks and two strike outs, was very important especially with the news that Jered Weaver is going to see a spine specialist Monday to see what is causing him discomfort in his neck that is effecting his velocity.

Nate Smith will start in Weaver’s place on Monday when the Los Angeles Angels play the Cincinnati Reds.

Other game notes Giavotella is now up to .280 batting average this Spring after being down under .200 last week.  Soto’s home run was his second the Spring and he also threw out two would-be base stealers in the game including the speedy Delino Deshields. Carlos Perez is still slated to be the starting catcher, but Soto despite batting only .200 so far this Spring is solidifying himself as the back-up catcher.