Angels' offensive success to start at top
Figgins feels that the Nos. 1 and 2 spots set the tone
WASHINGTON -- For Chone Figgins, the solution to the Angels' lingering offensive problems start right at the top.
Before Wednesday's series finale against the Nationals, Figgins said he thinks the top of the lineup will be crucial to getting the offense on track. He said he, Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis getting on base in front of the Angels' 3-4-5 hitters -- an impressive trio of Garret Anderson, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter -- is the key to getting runs on the board.
"So much stuff is focused on the middle of the lineup," Figgins said. "When leadoff guys get on base and steal bases, it helps the offense."
Figgins and his two-spot compatriots have certainly been doing their part recently. Over the last 30 days, Figgins ranks fourth on the team in on-base percentage. Izturis ranks first as a second baseman (fifth as a shortstop) and is tied for second on the team with 13 runs over that period.
Manager Mike Scioscia said the key lately has been finding "continuity" at the top. Injuries have depleted the top of his lineup -- Aybar, Figgins and Izturis have all spent time on the disabled list this year -- and after early struggles the plate, the Angels are just starting to see the top of their lineup smooth out.
"We've had a lot of guys in and out, where some guys had been struggling to find their game at the plate," Scioscia said. "I think we're right now hopefully on the horizon of seeing some continuity and having a 1-2 that will get the table set for the middle when they're on their game, and deepening our lineup."
Zach Osterman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.