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Angels report: Inside pitch

The Sports Xchange
Inside pitch · Roster · Notes, quotes

With the trade deadline approaching, the Angels have been in the market for an ace. But their in-house ace is starting to look like one again.

Right-hander John Lackey held the Indians to one run on three hits while striking out eight in seven innings Wednesday, the sixth time in his last seven starts Lackey has allowed two runs or fewer. In six starts this month, he is 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings.

Good thing, too -- the rest of the Angels' starting pitchers have been nothing short of lousy recently. Over the 25 games before Wednesday, Angels starters other than Lackey had a 7.32 ERA with 139 hits (including 23 home runs) and 46 walks in 107 innings.

Not coincidentally, the Angels have been actively seeking starting pitching in a pre-deadline trade.

But one of those targets, left-hander cliff Lee, was dealt to the Phillies on Wednesday, and GM Tony Reagins continues to portray a blockbuster deal as unlikely. Manager Mike Scioscia is also taking the stance that answers can be found on the current roster.

"I really feel that if we don't acquire some pitching, we still have the pieces here to do what we want to do," Scioscia said. "We have some guys that are underachieving right now that we know can throw the ball better."

That finger points clearly at the trio of Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver. In that 25-game block before Wednesday's dominating performance by Lackey, those three starters were a combined 4-5 with a 7.81 ERA and 22 home runs allowed in 17 starts.

ANGELS 9, INDIANS 3: The Angels rode a dominating performance by RHP John Lackey and their continued offensive surge to another victory Wednesday afternoon. Lackey allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings for his fifth victory in six starts this month. Howie Kendrick drove in five runs, including two with a single in the Angels' five-run fifth inning.

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