PHOENIX -- Right-hander Nick Adenhart knew he would be starting the season at the Double-A level this season, and getting a final chance to face Major League hitters this spring was just another bonus as he works his way up through the Angels' Minor League system. Pitching five shutout innings in a 2-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday was a big step in the right direction for the 20-year-old right-hander, who has pitched at the Class A level the previous two seasons. He was 15-4 with a 2.56 ERA at two Minor League stops in 2006. "I came in here ready to learn what it takes to move up," Adenhart said after allowing three hits, walking two and striking out two. "It's been a big learning process."
While Opening Day starter John Lackey got his work done in a Triple-A Minor League game against the A's, Adenhart was busy trying to work out of jams in the first and fifth. In between, he retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced. Adenhart got a double play in the first and fifth innings to end Oakland's best scoring chances, earning praise from his catcher, Jose Molina. "He's got good command and good stuff," Molina said. "He's just learning, but you never know when he'll be up. He just needs to pitch." Angels manager Mike Scioscia compared Adenhart (1-0, 1.54 this spring) to Jered Weaver's effort at the end of Spring Training last year. "It's much like Jered did in San Francisco," said the eighth-year manager. "He's pitching against Major League hitters in a Major League environment. He has to carry some confidence out there." Adenhart, who underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2004, said he's still looking to keep and maintain his consistency. "I want to be able to make all my starts, stay healthy and work deep into games," he said. "Hopefully they will have confidence in me to fill a spot." Taking the fifth: Right-hander Dustin Moseley was officially named the Angels' fifth starter by Scioscia after Wednesday's game. He was considered the front-runner in a competition with right-hander Hector Carrasco. "Moseley kept himself an option by pitching well," Scioscia said. "These last couple of outings we needed to see which guy is further along. Either guy could have done it. With Justin [Speier] pitching so well, it gives us more options in the bullpen."
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.