TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is tired of the questions. Josh Collmenter is in the rotation.
Collmenter gave up 10 hits and eight runs, sending his spring ERA to 11.81, and the Diamondbacks were beaten by the Los Angeles Angels 9-2 Friday.
Albert Pujols hit his fifth homer, off Collmenter. Howie Kendrick hit a two-run homer and Bobby Abreu a two-run single in a four-run first against Collmenter.
``He got hit hard,' said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, who sounded angry with a reporter's question about the rotation. ``You're going to ask me that after every start, aren't you?'
Gibson added that he was ``not planning' on pulling Collmenter or anyone out of his starting rotation.
``He left the ball out over the plate,' Gibson said. ``That's a good hitting team. We have to pitch a lot better to be able to compete with a team like that.'
Collmenter had a strong rookie season last year, going 10-10 with a 3.38 ERA over 24 starts (31 games overall). He also was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the division series against Milwaukee.
``It was a few inches here and there,' Collmenter said of his pitch location. ``They hit all the ones I left out over the plate. ... I feel fine. (I have to) just continue to work on my mechanics - look at film.'
Collmenter was coming off his best outing of a rocky spring, when he allowed two runs over five innings March 25 vs. San Diego.
C.J. Wilson had another strong start for the Angels. He pitched 6 1-3 innings and allowed five hits and one run - Justin Upton's fourth homer in the first. Wilson lowered his spring ERA to 1.33 after five outings.
Torii Hunter had three of the Angels' 14 hits and Pujols had two to raise his average to .404.
Bobby Abreu went 2 for 3 after starting the day by denying he had been traded to Cleveland.
Abreu has been one of the few sources of controversy at Angels camp. Early this spring he told a Spanish-speaking station that he wanted to be traded to a team that would play him every day rather than play for the Angels where he did not figure to break into the team's crowded outfield picture.
On Friday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia downplayed the Abreu trade talk and any distraction that could come of it.
``You're going to have rumors about players all season,' Scioscia said. ``It's a non-issue. (Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto) talks to teams every day and players are discussed.'
Scioscia added that Abreu had a great hitting session with hitting coach Mickey Hatcher on Thursday.
``We just need for him to relax a bit,'Scioscia said. ``He can still contribute.'
Earlier in camp, Scioscia said Abreu, who will make $9 million this year, would receive around 400 plate appearances.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved