Joyce's strong spring continues against D-backs

Joyce's strong spring continues against D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed-hitting outfielder Matt Joyce had two hits for the Angels on Wednesday at Salt River Fields, where the D-backs rallied for a pair of runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-5 win.

Danny Worth reached on an error by shortstop Taylor Featherston to start the eighth, and two outs later, Nick Evans crushed a fly ball to center, scoring Worth. Socrates Brito followed with a double of his own to right-center to score Evans and give the D-backs a cushion they'd need, as Featherston doubled in a run against Jake Barrett in the ninth.

Scioscia on 6-5 loss

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Weaver a little shaky: Jered Weaver gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in three-plus innings of his second Cactus League start, striking out three and exiting after a leadoff homer by Drury in the fourth. Weaver sat mostly at 83-84 mph with his fastball. That's three to four ticks slower than what he averaged last year, but the Angels' ace is usually throwing slower in the early part of Spring Training.

Weaver escapes jam

Joyce getting it done: Joyce was the only Angels starter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored to increase his Cactus League batting average to .500. More importantly, one of those hits was off an opposing lefty, an opposite-field, line-drive single off D-backs starter Robbie Ray. Joyce platooned a lot with the Rays and wants his chance to start against lefties this year. He'll get it if he performs in spring.

QUOTABLE

"I feel good. You're not going to be pinpoint right now. I still have timing issues and things like that. That fourth inning, I felt good. Some of the guys saw something. I was getting a little too long with my throwing arm and it was hard to catch up up front. That last inning felt really good, and I'll try to work from there." -- Weaver, on whether he's where he needs to be after two Cactus League starts

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Albert Pujols' first-inning single was his fifth hit in his last seven Cactus League at-bats and his batting average is .462 after a 1-for-3 performance. The Angels' first baseman has batted at least .321 in Spring Training each of the last three years.

Pujols' single

WHAT'S NEXT?

C.J. Wilson was scratched from his scheduled Thursday start after tweaking his left knee during pitchers' fielding practice a couple of days ago, so prized prospect Sean Newcomb will get the ball against the Cubs at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Newcomb, a big-body, 21-year-old left-hander, was drafted 15th overall out of the University of Hartford in Connecticut, representing the Angels' first first-round pick in three years. Newcomb pitched a scoreless inning against the Royals in his Cactus League debut on Sunday. Game time is 1:10 p.m. PT on MLB.TV and FOX Sports West. Actor Will Ferrell will play an inning with the Angels as part of a fundraising promotion with HBO and MLB.

Steve Gilbert and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.