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Angels turning to bullpen often in second half

OAKLAND -- The Angels knew they'd rely heavily on their bullpen down the stretch, but the workload is starting to get a little troublesome.

Heading into Saturday's game against the A's, Angels relievers led the Majors in innings since the All-Star break with 125. Part of the reason is that 27 of the Angels' 33 second-half games have been decided by one or two runs; the other is that the starting rotation has compiled only 193 1/3 innings over that span, tied for 21st in the Majors.

The Angels finish the season with 43 games in 45 days, and somehow, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is going to have to find ways to keep his back-end trio of Kevin Jepsen, Joe Smith and Huston Street fresh.

"The thing that's going to keep our bullpen together is going to be the guys in the middle, who will be able to bridge some of those innings and take some pressure off the guys in the end," Scioscia said. "They're going to be a key component going down the stretch of the season."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
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