The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - INSIDE PITCH

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels rank second in the American League in runs scored, a big part of that resulting from the club's production in the first inning.

They have 74 first-inning runs, tops in the majors, and they scored in the first inning in 34.5 percent of their 113 games. When leading after the first inning, the Angels went on to win 71.9 percent of the time (23-9).

However, the Angels place no added emphasis on scoring in the first inning than any other inning. It just worked out that way.

"There's no strategy that we've implemented to say, 'We're going to do this to make us score early,'" Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have a good offensive team, and if it meets a pitcher that's not quite locked in for his first 25-30 pitches of a game, we have a chance to score some runs early."

And it helps that Mike Trout bats in the first inning in every game. Trout has 23 runs scored and seven homers in the first, more than in any other inning for him in both categories.

The Angels were set down in order in the first inning Wednesday, and they didn't get a baserunner until the sixth inning in a 2-1 loss to Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Dodgers.


MLB Team Report - Los Angeles Angels - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 67-46

STREAK: Lost two

NEXT: Dodgers (LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu, 12-5, 3.39 ERA) at Angels (LHP C.J. Wilson, 8-7, 4.74 ERA)


--3B David Freese was not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Dodgers because of a sore left knee. Freese said he hurt the knee swinging the bat Tuesday against Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw. Freese entered Wednesday's game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and finished 1-for-2.

--RHP Joe Smith has not allowed a run in his last 22 appearances (22 2/3 innings). He posted a 0.29 WHIP in July, the lowest single month WHIP in the last 100 years (minimum 15 innings pitched). The previous low was 0.33, set by Lon Warneke in 1939 for the St. Louis Cardinals.

--RHP Matt Shoemaker gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in six innings, but he got the loss in a 2-1 setback to the Dodgers. He was matched up against a former All-Star pitcher -- Dan Haren -- for the seventh time this season. Shoemaker was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in the previous six starts against Cliff Lee, David Price, James Shields, Chris Sale, Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander.

--LHP C.J. Wilson will start Thursday's game against the Dodgers. Wilson had his worst start of the season in his last outing, giving up six runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Rays after missing three weeks with a sprained ankle. He is 0-0 with a 4.97 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Dodgers.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You're seeing two good ballclubs, there's no doubt about that. Tonight both teams played well. Those guys just did a little bit more on the mound than we could do in the batter's box, and they came out ahead. We know what our challenge is. We need to turn the page and start doing more things on the field that lead to wins. And we will." -- Manager Mike Scioscia, after the Angels fell 2-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.