Having gone hitless with a walk in his first two games in red, Bobby Abreu didn’t waste any time banging his first hit in an Angels uniform on Friday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Facing Rockies southpaw Greg Smith, part of the deal that made Matt Holliday a member of the Athletics, Abreu smoked a line drive over the head of right fielder Matt Murton for a double in the bottom of the first inning. Hainley Statia, who’d walked leading off, scored on Freddy Sandoval’s sacrifice fly.
In the top of the second, Abreu had his first misadventure in left field. A fly ball by Clint Barmes got up in the sun and Abreu couldn’t find it, letting it fall for a triple. But Fernando Rodriguez, replacing Sean O’Sullivan after a two-run Colorado first, struck out two hitters to escape without yielding a run.
Abreu made it two doubles in two innings when he hit a sinking liner in front of Murton that kicked away from him far enough to allow Abreu — always an aggressive baserunner — to scoot into second.
A double as his first Angels hit was fitting for Abreu, who has had 35 or more doubles every season since 1999, his second full season in the Majors with the Phillies.
Following a walk to Mike Napoli, Sean Rodriguez showed off his pop with a double off the wall in left, driving home Abreu and tying the game at 2.
Rodriguez, a superb athlete with big-time power to right center, has been working out at second and short exclusively so far this spring. But he is a natural center fielder who would love to expand his versatility by getting some time in the outfield. A catcher as a kid, he also feels he could fill in behind the plate in an emergency.