LA Angels starters Trout, Escobar, Espinosa, Calhoun, and Maybin get first action of Spring in 5-3 win.

Kole Calhoun got a single and drove in a run as well as getting an outfield assist in his first Spring action Monday against San Diego. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Kole Calhoun got a single and drove in a run as well as getting an outfield assist in his first Spring action Monday against San Diego. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

On Monday the LA Angels unveiled what could be a preview of its opening day line-up with third basemen Yunel Escobar leading off and Luis Valbuena playing first & hitting clean-up. Oh yeah reigning AL MVP Mike Trout was in his #3 spot.

In the game the LA Angels defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3 to remain perfect in three Cactus League games.  Espinosa and Calhoun both drove in runs with RBI-singles as both went one for two in the game.

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons played in his third consecutive game for the Angels and is still without a hit in eight at-bats, but he did reach base on a fielder’s choice in the third inning. Simmons scored on a Kole Calhoun RBI-single to tie the game at 1.

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Utility man Kaleb Cowart, who is hopeful of gaining a roster spot drove in t in the third and scored he winning run in the bottom of the 7th on a RBI-double to right that knocked in David Fletcher who is also trying to make the Angels..  Catcher Jose Briceno then drove Cowart in with an RBI single giving the Angels some insurance.

Drew Gagnon pitched a perfect 9th inning to get his first save of the Spring and Osmer Morales pitched two innings to get victory giving up one run on one hit while striking out two.  The most impressive pitching performance of the day was turned in by prospect Nate Smith, who has an outside shot at winning the 5th spot in the rotation, was outstanding.

Smith went two innings allowing only one hit and no runs while striking out two.  Smith was supposed to be called up to start a few games in September, but pain in his arm derailed that plan for Smith.  If he continues to pitch well this Spring there is no doubt in my mind that you will see him in Anaheim sometime this season.

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Valbuena got his third start of the Spring today at first base after being at third yesterday and being the designated hitter on Saturday.  Valbuena  went 0 for 2 marking the first game that he went hitless after driving in runs in his first two games.

Kole Calhoun also showed off his defense in the game gunning down Carlos Asuaje of the Padres who was trying to stretch a single into a double and Smith picked off Asuaje at first base as well.

Calhoun’s partner in crime Mike Trout walked twice in his only two at-bats. Cameron Maybin went 0 for 1, but drew a walk and scored a run for the Angels and Yunel Escobar went 0 for 3 in the lead-off spot.

Reliever J.C. Ramirez who was signed last July by the Angels off the waiver wire started the game for the Angels and was effectively wild, walking two batters and giving up two hits in 1.2 innings of work.  However, Ramirez only gave up one run while striking out three batters.  Reliever Mike Morin also pitched for the Halos going one unimpressive inning for the Angels giving two hits and a walk and giving up a run.

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One final note was that former Angel shortstop Erick Aybar played shortstop for the Padres going one for three and former Angel outfielder Collin Cowgill played center field for the Padres going 0 for 3. Both Aybar and Cowgill are non-roster invitees trying to crack the Padres roster.

In addition the Padres have two other former Angels in camp as outfielders Rafael Ortega and Nick Buss are also non-roster invitees trying to play their way onto the Padres roster. The final former Angel is pitcher Jered Weaver who is on the active roster and should have a spot in the Padres rotation this season after signing a one-year deal two weeks ago with San Diego.

Next: Ryan LaMarre and Ben Revere look good in victory over A's

The Angels play the Padres two more times this Spring on March 10th and 23rd.  No word on when Jered Weaver will make his first start for the Padres this Spring. The Angels will face the World Champion Chicago Cubs tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. PST and will send former Braves prospect Manny Banuelos to the mound.