Notes: Happy accidents for Hunter
Weaver cruising this spring; Green matches Adenhart
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Torii Hunter is fast becoming the accidental tourist in the Angels' camp.
"All accidents," were his first words to reporters on Saturday after launching his first homer in an Angels uniform, a three-run blast to left-center in the third inning against the Cubs' Kerry Wood, following a run-scoring double to deep center an inning earlier against Jason Marquis. "I'm just trying to put some good wood on the ball, see some good pitches. That's it. [I'm] not trying to do too much at all, and it's working out for me."
This performance in front of a packed house (8,808) at Tempe Diablo Stadium came on the heels of another "accident" in his debut two days earlier: a gap double. Hunter is 4-for-4 with five RBIs, and his new teammates are telling him he's ready for the season to start.
"Yeah, some of them are telling me to shut it down and meet them in Anaheim, pack my bags," Hunter said. "It's still too early. Pitchers aren't even ready, hitters aren't ready. We've got a lot of games left, and I'm trying to pace myself."
"He needs to save some of that for the season," Angels starter Jered Weaver said, while manager Mike Scioscia complimented Hunter on coming to camp "in great shape ... he's been working hard."
The accidental shots off his bat, Hunter explained, are as surprising to him as they are impressive to fans.
"I'm just trying to work on my timing and get my foot down," he said. "Trust me, I'm up there working on things. It's crazy. I'm up there working on getting my foot down when the pitcher releases. ... It's not about the numbers; it's about hitting the ball hard. That's all you want to do. I've never seen a baseball card with Spring Training numbers on it."
The Cactus League is not the American League, Hunter is quick to point out.
"I don't want to be Cactus League MVP," he said. "I don't want a trophy. Somebody else can have that. I want that ring -- that World Series ring."
Dream Weaver: Things couldn't be going much better for Weaver, at least in relation to where he was one year ago coming back from biceps tendinitis and not knowing when he'd be ready to cut loose and pitch.
In a relaxed rhythm, putting his fastball where he wanted it and supplementing it with three complementary pitches, Weaver breezed through two innings in his first start, limiting the Cubs to a single. A double play, started by shortstop Maicer Izturis and turned by Howard Kendrick at second, took him out of the first after a Kendrick error on a slow roller.
"I was locating my fastball," Weaver said. "This is the first time I've thrown my curveball and slider to hitters. It takes a while to get the feel for those pitches. You're going to work everything off your fastball -- get it working, and everything comes off that.
"I haven't missed a beat. As far as not missing a day, it's helped with arm strength. I'm going to have a month to get ready for the season, not two or three weeks [into the season]."
Scioscia called the difference in Weaver this spring "night and day. Hopefully, he'll be able to get that balance and understand you get your rest and your work in, and fire it up."
Neck and neck: They had nearly identical numbers at Double-A Arkansas in 2007, and Nick and Nick -- Adenhart and Green -- continue to track each other's steps this spring en route to Triple-A Salt Lake.
After Adenhart worked two scoreless innings in Surprise on Friday, Green matched his buddy on Saturday, holding the Cubs to a pair of singles in his two rounds following Weaver.
"Nick made his pitches," Scioscia said of the 23-year-old Green. "You have a youngster coming in, he feels himself approaching our depth chart. He showed composure and showed all his good pitches, including that changeup. Our pitchers all did a nice job."
Jeff Kennard, acquired last July from the Yankees for Jose Molina, worked a perfect fifth before giving up both Cubs runs on four hits, striking out two. Steve Marek (four outs), Sean O'Sullivan and Jose Arredondo each kept the Cubs scoreless, striking out one man each.
Making a push: Hoping to get noticed by a club in need of speed in the outfield if the Angels can find no room for him on the 25-man roster, Nathan Haynes continued to shine with a single, steal and run scored off the bench. He's 3-for-5 with two walks, and he's capable of running down balls in gaps at all three outfield positions.
Chone Figgins had a perfect day with three singles, indicating that he's getting back in tune with elements that made him a .330 hitter in 2007.
Last word: "Red is good. Red is very good. I like red so far." -- Hunter, beaming above his red Angels jersey
Up next: Veteran right-hander Jon Garland makes his Cactus League debut in an Angels uniform on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. PT, when the Brewers welcome the Angels to Maryvale Baseball Park. Acquired in the offseason from the White Sox in exchange for shortstop Orlando Cabrera, Garland -- twice an 18-game winner and key member of Chicago's 2005 World Series champions -- will face right-hander Carlos Villanueva.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.