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Angels Classic Rewind | Dateline: May 18th, 2002

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By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor - 

MAY 18, 2002


CHICAGO -- Ramon Ortiz has learned that amnesia can be agood thing. Forgeting about a bad pitch and concentrating on the next one hashelped him become the Angels' most consistent pitcher this season.

Now, Ortiz is faced with having to forget about a bad start.

For the first time this season, Ortiz did not reach theseventh inning as the Chicago White Sox snapped the Angels' eight-game winstreak with a 10-4 victory Saturday night before 21,122 at Comiskey Park.

Ortiz gave up six runs but only seven hits in his sixinnings. However, four of the hits were home runs, including two by FrankThomas, one by Paul Konerko and one by John Valentin. Ortiz has allowed 13homers this season, most in the American League.

''Today I did not have good command of the ball, the ballwas a little high,'' said Ortiz, whose ERA jumped from 2.63 to 3.30. ''When youmake a mistake, you pay. With a strong hitter, every time you throw a pitch inthe middle, that's what happens.''

Angels manager Mike Scioscia, though, is not concerned aboutOrtiz's tendency to give up homers. In fact, of the 13 Ortiz has allowed, 10have been solo shots. And Ortiz had allowed only 15 earned runs in his sevenstarts going into Saturday's game.

One of Thomas' home runs on Saturday came when he broke hisbat, but muscled it out.

''You can't say the home run has killed Ramon,'' Sciosciasaid. ''They've got a lot of power over there. He made a couple mistakes, butit's not always a bad pitch. Sometimes you have to tip your cap and move on.''

The White Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inningwhen Konerko had an RBI single and Thomas hit a two-run homer, both coming withtwo out.

''He wasn't real comfortable in the first inning,'' Angelscatcher Jorge Fabregas said of Ortiz. ''I don't know if it was the cold (48degrees at first pitch). He had trouble locating the ball. This year we're usedto seeing him give us a dominating performance. He was just a little offtoday.''

Brad Fullmer (3 for 4) got the Angels on the scoreboard witha solo homer in the fourth, but Thomas' second homer in the bottom of theinning made it 4-1 White Sox. RBI singles by Darin Erstad and Troy Glausbrought the Angels to within 4-3 in the fifth, but Ortiz gave it back in thesixth when he allowed solo homers to Konerko and Valentin.

On the homer to Konerko, Fabregas called for a fastballinside. Ortiz wanted to throw a slider, hung it, and Konerko hit it out.

''I felt (Konerko) was waiting for it,'' Fabregas said ofthe slider. ''He wanted to throw the slider. Hey, it's his game. But if theslider's down, it's probably an out.''

The Angels scored one more run on Scott Spiezio's RBI singlein the top of the seventh before the White Sox tacked on four runs in thebottom of the seventh off the Angels bullpen.

The Angels actually out-hit the White Sox, 11-10, but missedrun-scoring chances. Going into the game they were hitting .303 with runners inscoring position; Saturday they went 3 for 15.

''We had a lot of opportunities,'' Scioscia said of theoffense, which had at least one runner in scoring position in every inning butthe eighth. ''Early on we had guys in scoring position but we couldn't getruns. Those guys made some pitches.''

Their streak over, the Angels still feel good about the way they'replaying.

''Good things come to an end, but we'll start another one(today),'' Fabregas said. ''If we thought we were going to win every one outthere, we were sadly mistaken. But we're trying to win every series.''

The Angels have won six consecutive series, and need to wintoday's game to make it seven straight.


CHICAGO -- Center fielder Darin Erstad missed getting dousedby a full cup of beer from a White Sox fan Friday as Erstad fielded a ball inthe left-center field gap. Though Erstad had a few choice words for the fan, hesaid it was no big deal.

Such is the life of a major league outfielder. Erstad saidhe's had golf balls, batteries and quarters thrown at him. He's only been hitonce, when a fan at Comiskey Park got him with a quarter.

While thrown objects are crossing the line, Erstad said hedoesn't mind what fans might say, no matter how personal they can get at times.

''I have no problem dealing with that stuff,'' he said.''They paid for their ticket so they have the right to say what they want. WhenI'm 50 or 60, I'm not going to be happy or sad based on what they said. But putit this way, they'll never be invited over to my house for Christmas.''

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was a catcher during hisplaying days with the Dodgers, so he didn't have to deal with thrown objectslike many outfielders do. However ...

''Don't forget, I played with the Dodgers and we played atCandlestick Park (in San Francisco),'' Scioscia said.

The tunnel to the clubhouse there was down the right-fieldline, so all the players had to walk along those seats and listen to the fans'barbs and dodge the occasional thrown object. Scioscia said he remembers nearlygetting hit by an orange.


While many Angels hitters have been productive during theclub's hot stretch, DH Brad Fullmer has been as hot as any. Fullmer got off toa slow start, trying to find his swing and was hitting just .200 on April 28.

Since then, he's hit safely in 13 of 14 games, batting .411(23 for 56) with 12 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs to raise his season average to.294. He went 3 for 4 with a homer and double in Saturday's loss.

''I was hitting .200 with no homers the first three weeks,so I'm not going to say I'm not swinging the bat better,'' Fullmer said. ''ButI'm still not where I want to be. The last couple of days I've felt good at theplate. Now it's a matter of staying consistent and staying where I'm at.''


Reliever Donne Wall returned to the team Saturday followinghis rehab appearance Friday for Triple-A Salt Lake. Wall will be activatedeither today or Monday, meaning the Angels will have to send a pitcher down,probably Matt Wise.


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