Torii Hunter called out manager Mike Scioscia after loss

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How frustrated are the Angels after starting the season 6-12?

After last night’s 3-2 loss Torii Hunter talked to reporters about how everyone on the roster has “to dig deep” and then seemingly called out manager Mike Scioscia for his lack of in-game strategy.

Hunter specifically seemed upset about Scioscia’s failure to call a bunt with two runners on base in the second inning, which led to the Angels being held scoreless following back-to-back singles to begin the frame.

Hunter avoided flat-out ripping Scioscia, but based on his comments to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times it’s pretty easy to read between the lines:

We have to fight a little harder. I don’t think we believe we’re trying that hard. We’re just going through the motions. We have to do what we’re capable of doing. That’s everybody; not just the players.

Obviously “not just the players” is directed toward Scioscia, although DiGiovanna called it “a veiled criticism.” However, when asked specifically if a change in early game strategy could have turned the game around Hunter replied:

You mean if we bunted in the second? What can we do? All we do is play the game.

Meaning, of course, that the players can only follow orders from Scioscia in those spots.

Hunter has always been praised for his leadership and is generally one of the most well-liked players in baseball, but in times of adversity dating back to his days in Minnesota he’s shown a willingness to publicly rip teammates and, now apparently, managers.

UPDATE: DiGiovanna reports that the Angels are holding a players-only meeting before today’s game, adding: “Can’t say I’m surprising after the events of last night.”

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. lays out to make a great catch in deep right-center field

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Cubs center fielder Albert Almora, Jr. robbed Giants first baseman Brandon Belt of at least a double in the top of the first inning of Monday’s game at Wrigley Field. Almora completely left his feet to catch the ball before landing just shy of the warning track.

The Giants took the early lead two batters prior to Belt’s at-bat as Joe Panik hit a solo home run to center field.