Mathis scratched with bruised hand
Wilson takes over at catcher against Padres
ANAHEIM -- With a bruise on the inside of his left hand, catcher Jeff Mathis was scratched from the Angels' lineup for Thursday night's preseason game against the Padres. Mathis was hit on the hand by a pitch Tuesday in Tempe, Ariz., against the Brewers.Bobby Wilson, who has enjoyed a strong spring in his bid to make the team as a third catcher, took Mathis' spot in the lineup. "He's fine," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Mathis. "In the regular season, he'd be playing. We'll give him a day, maybe two. There's no reason to push it now." Wilson came into the game batting .370 with a .481 slugging percentage and .452 on-base percentage in 27 at-bats. He has excelled behind the plate, demonstrating a strong, accurate arm along with respected signal-calling abilities.
Saunders enjoys final spring outing
ANAHEIM -- Angels southpaw Joe Saunders kept the ball down and in the strike zone across five innings in his final spring tuneup Thursday night at Angel Stadium, holding the Padres to two earned runs on four hits while striking out four men and getting nine groundouts."What I was happy about was my changeup," Saunders said, having thrown 75 pitches in preparation for his season debut scheduled for Tuesday night against the Twins. "My changeup was working, and my sinker was working, too. I let my infield do their thing again." Saunders said he enjoyed being home, pitching under the lights, in front of the homefolks in cool conditions suited to the man from Virginia. "It's a beautiful thing," he said of the 55-degree weather at game's start. "Balmy weather. Love it." Saunders got some extra work done in the bullpen after he was lifted, adding, "I wanted to get up six times. I'm happy with how I threw in the 'pen."
Kazmir to make final tuneup in Tempe
ANAHEIM -- Southpaw Scott Kazmir is with the club at Angel Stadium. He'll return to Tempe, Ariz., and pitch in a camp game Sunday, looking to get in the 85- to 90-pitch range for his scheduled season debut April 9 against the Athletics at Angel Stadium."I came out of my [Monday] game feeling good," Kazmir said. "I was snapping off some good sliders, and that was nice. I'll get in a good workout Sunday and be ready to go." Ervin Santana is expected to throw 90-100 pitches in his final spring tuneup Friday night at Angel Stadium against the Dodgers.
Angels field hot-hitting lineup vs. Padres
ANAHEIM -- Six of the Angels' nine hitters in Thursday night's lineup against Padres right-hander Chris Young carried batting averages of .300 or higher into the game.Torii Hunter (.375), Bobby Wilson (.370), Kendry Morales (.364), Erick Aybar (.333), Howard Kendrick (.310) and Brandon Wood (.308) all enjoyed big springs in Cactus League play. Rounding out the lineup were Hideki Matsui (.256), Juan Rivera (.250) and Bobby Abreu (.212). Mike Napoli led the club with six homers and Morales was the RBI leader with 13, one more than Kendrick.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.