Spring training: D-backs SS 7, Angels 7: Hamilton goes 0 for 3 in Angels' debut

2013-02-27T00:00:00Z Spring training: D-backs SS 7, Angels 7: Hamilton goes 0 for 3 in Angels' debutThe Associated Press The Associated Press
February 27, 2013 12:00 am  • 

TEMPE - Josh Hamilton wants to turn over a new leaf with his new team. The free-swinging slugger is planning to practice better plate discipline in his first spring with the Los Angeles Angels.

Hamilton then swung at the first pitch he faced in an Angels uniform Tuesday, grounding out to short in Los Angeles' 7-7, nine-inning tie with an Arizona Diamondbacks split squad.

The $125 million slugger went 0 for 3 in his Los Angeles debut. He also ran out of unbroken bats in the process, forcing him to use teammate Mark Trumbo's lumber in the fifth inning for his second flyout.

Although he's still trying to remember to take a few pitches, the longtime Texas star was pleased to get back on the field after moving from the Rangers to their longtime AL West rivals in the offseason.

"It's a little awkward at first," he said. "You've been going against a team for five years. ... But the guys are the guys after a while. It's tough to find a clubhouse where you don't fit in."

After Hamilton promised hitting coach Jim Eppard he would try not to swing at everything in the strike zone this season, Hamilton hacked away at his first pitch of the spring from the D-backs' Eddie Bonine. Hamilton finally took the first pitch of his second at-bat, getting a laugh from his teammates.

"Everybody knows I like to swing," Hamilton said. "I'm trying to work on it a little bit, but if it's around the strike zone, I usually like to swing."

Hamilton had no challenges in right field while playing five innings at Diablo Stadium. But he had no chance to play Gerardo Parra's two-run homer over his head in the first inning.

Parra drove in three runs while warming up for his stint with Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic.

Rod Barajas added a fourth-inning solo shot for the Diamondbacks, joining Parra and Willie Bloomquist among four Diamondbacks with multihit games.

"Parra tried to get (Bloomquist) over, but he ended up hitting it out of here," Diamondbacks bench coach Alan Trammell said. "It was a good day."

The Angels fielded a lineup consisting of every likely regular except Mike Trout, who debuted Monday, and Albert Pujols, who won't play until mid-March while returning from offseason knee surgery.

D-backs SS 9, A's 4

SCOTTSDALE - Cliff Pennington brings deft defense to the shortstop position. Any offense he provides for his new team in Arizona would be a bonus.

Needless to say, the D-dbacks would love more performances like the one he delivered against his former Oakland teammates, when he went 2 for 2 with a two-run homer for Arizona's split squad in a 9-4 win.

Acquired in an October trade that sent center fielder Chris Young to Oakland, Pennington hit just six homers last year and has 24 in 1,748 career at-bats.

"I'm just trying to take good swings," he said.

"I'm seeing the ball good. ... I'll catch one from time to time."

Inside pitch

• Arizona righty Brandon McCarthy faces Cincinnati in his spring debut today, his first game since he was struck in the head by a line drive last Sept. 2 while pitching for Oakland.

• D-backs catcher Miguel Montero did not play for the second game in a row with a swollen right thumb.

• Josh Collmenter, sporting a magnificent beard grown in the offseason, started and pitched two scoreless innings against Oakland, giving up a hit and striking out two A's. He's set to be the team's long-inning reliever and a spot starter.

Today

• What: Reds vs. D-backs

• Where: Scottsdale

• When: 1:10 p.m.

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