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Angels looking for answers in bullpen mix

ANAHEIM -- The Angels were 6-8 heading into Wednesday night's game, yet they had led in five of those eight losses. Four times, they had been beaten in their opponents' final at-bat.

Which is why manager Mike Scoscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher were among those who huddled part of the day Wednesday to reassess their relievers, situations, and who pitches when.

Despite his rough night Tuesday, the Angels remain comfortable with Joe Smith pitching the eighth innings and closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth. Which leaves …

"Getting outs 19 to 21," Scioscia said. "We need some guys capable of coming in and getting those guys out."

For the math-challenged, Frieri, of course, is responsible for obtaining out Nos. 25-27 when the Angels are leading. Smith usually will be called on for Nos. 22-24.

It is that seventh-inning bridge between the starters and Smith and Frieri that needs some patchwork and construction. Especially with Dane De La Rosa once again sidelined and Sean Burnett still sidelined.

"You start the season with pseudo roles that you hope develop," Scioscia said. "If things aren't going in the right direction, you have to make adjustments, and we are. We have better arms down there than the way they're performing."

The Angels' bullpen entered Wednesday ranked 12th in the American League with a 5.31 ERA, with 21 walks issued in 42 1/3 innings.

Scott Miller is a contributor for
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