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Angels report: Inside pitch

The Sports Xchange
Inside pitch · Notes, quotes · Roster

Rookie Sean O'Sullivan doesn't have any overpowering pitches, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows what he likes about the burly right-hander.

"Sean is a very confident young pitcher," Scioscia said. "Although he's 21, his makeup is well beyond that. When you look at his minor league history, there's one thing that jumps out at you -- he wins."

Indeed, O'Sullivan is 38-19 in his professional career, including a 2-0 start at the major league level. None of those victories came above the Class A level until this season. O'Sullivan spent last year in the Class A California League (leading the league with 16 victories) and opened this season in Class AA.

"If you'd asked me in the spring if I'd be here, I would have looked you right in the face and said, 'No,'" O'Sullivan said. "But doors opened. Some opportunities came up, and I've been able to take advantage of this opportunity. It's been a real roller coaster. I'm still on the 'up' part."

The Angels are counting on that. When Ervin Santana returns to the rotation Friday, he will bump Matt Palmer and his 7-1 record into the bullpen. O'Sullivan will stay in the rotation for at least one more start Saturday.

"Where O'Sullivan is, we didn't want to put him in the bullpen," Scioscia said. "Palmer is more suited for this role right now."

O'Sullivan could be sent back to Class AAA quickly, to keep pitching on a regular turn. An off day Thursday and the upcoming All-Star break would allow the Angels to go with just four starters the rest of the first half.

"I try to take care of what I can control," O'Sullivan said. "I just try to show up and keep working. I'll be here as long as I'll be here."

ANGELS 5, ORIOLES 2: The Angels opened a 10-game homestand that will lead into the All-Star break by holding the Orioles to just five hits. RHP John Lackey and LHP Brian Fuentes combined on the five-hitter, and OF Bobby Abreu supplied the offense. Abreu hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and a three-run homer in the fifth, both off Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.

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