Sunday, October 25, 2009

Red-hot Angle sparks Desert Dogs

Orioles prospect records fifth straight multi-hit game
By Daren Smith /

The fact that Matt Angle has logged five straight multi-hit games for the Arizona Fall League's Phoenix Desert Dogs came as news to Matt Angle.

"Really?" the Orioles outfield prospect asked after Saturday's three-hit night. "When you're not playing every day, sometimes it's hard to keep track."

Angle went 3-for-5, grabbed a share of the league lead with his sixth stolen base and scored twice as the Desert Dogs cruised to a 7-3 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions.

The 2007 seventh-round Draft pick might not be the best known prospect among the Orioles' contingent, but he's making a name for himself in the AFL. Angle is 13-for-25 with 10 runs scored during his current tear to raise his average to .406.

"I just wanted to come out here and play, get some experience," he said. "There are some great players out there and I just wanted to compete with them. I was excited to play some winter ball."

Even when he struggled in his first two Fall League games, going 0-for-7, the Ohio State product drew three walks, stole a couple of bases and scored a run.

"I definitely already made a couple of adjustments," he said after working with coaches Moe Hill and Brian McArn. "I shortened up a little bit from the first week I was here. I'm using my hands a lot more than my body."

Angle hit .289 with 40 steals at Class A Advanced Frederick this season before a brief stint at Double-A Bowie. He attributes his recent success at the plate to preparation.

"I try to get to the cage early," he said. "I take the same number of swings every day going into the game. ... I just try to see pitches and when the opportunity's there to steal, I try to take advantage. I don't try to force anything too much."

Angle helped the Desert Dogs (7-4) erase an early two-run deficit. Held to two hits over four innings by Scorpions starter Joe Martinez (Giants), Phoenix scored five times in the fifth. A.J. Jimenez (Blue Jays) and Angle had RBI base hits, former first-round pick Chris Marrero (Nationals) delivered a two-run single and Brandon Waring (Orioles) drew a bases-loaded walk.

Waring capped the Desert Dogs' scoring with a two-run double in the seventh.

Ryohei Tanaka (1-1), an Orioles farmhand who rooms with Angle, got the win after tossing 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Diamondbacks first baseman Brandon Allen went 3-for-3 with an RBI double for Scottsdale (6-5).

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