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|Joel Pineiro worked all sides of the plate -- and the infield -- in the Angels' 2-0 shutout of Detroit.|
"We'll have a good look with Brian closing games and bringing Fernando in a little earlier, probably in the eighth inning," Scioscia said. "Hopefully we'll have a power arm every night to hold leads." Scioscia did reserve the right to change his mind, which would be far from surprising. Rodney has converted 44 of his past 45 save chances going back to last year. Kevin Jepsen also could emerge as a ninth-inning option. He got two big outs in the eighth when the Tigers had two runners on with one out. Jepsen induced back-to-back groundouts from Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera. Jepsen has been throwing his curveball for strikes, a devastating complement to his 97 mph fastball. "It's definitely exciting when you're coming in with runners on, especially when you're facing hitters like that," Jepsen said.
MATHIS HURTCatcher Jeff Mathis caught a pitch off his right hand in the eighth inning. Mathis remained in the game, but was scheduled for precautionary X-rays and likely will miss a game or two, at the least. If Mathis broke his hand, it could be a big blow to the Angels. He's not only their best defensive catcher, but he's one of their hottest hitters. Mathis is riding a career-high 10-game hitting streak. Including last year's playoffs, he's on a 14-game hitting streak. "I'm sure he'll put a lot of ice on it tonight and, hopefully, it's just a bruise and we'll see when he gets back out there," Scioscia said. QUOTE OF THE DAY "He's a better offensive player than his lifetime numbers show, that's for sure." -- Scioscia on Mathis, a .205 lifetime hitter. LOOKING AHEAD Scott Kazmir said he feels confident going into his second start, which is saying something since he gave up three home runs at Yankee Stadium in his first try. He vows to stop tinkering as much with his slider and to concentrate on locating his pitches better. Against the Yankees, he often fell behind and threw fastballs over the middle of the plate. Kazmir didn't face the Tigers last year. He's 2-4 with a 4.29 ERA lifetime against them. The Angels face Rick Porcello, Detroit's 21-year-old emerging star. Porcello labored in his last start, needing 27 pitches to get through the first inning, but he managed to get through six.