ANAHEIM -- Playing shortstop, his natural position, with a natural flair, Brandon Wood made a highlight-reel play on Monday night against Texas. Ranging far behind second base to snatch an apparent hit from Michael Young, Wood created an important force at second with a behind-the-back flip on the move to Howard Kendrick at second."That's the kind of play you don't make unless you're relaxed and havin' fun," lockermate and mentor Torii Hunter said to Wood. "That's how you play the game. You can't be worried about making mistakes." Wood nodded and grinned. "I feel a lot more relaxed out there now," he said. "I'm not worrying about things -- I'm just playing the game. It's fun again. It hasn't been easy this season, but it's good to get out there and just play free." Wood will play in the Arizona Fall League in an effort to get a jump-start on a much better 2011. He had an RBI single and a walk in the 7-4 win over Texas behind Jered Weaver, his base hit marking his first RBI without a home run since June 19, covering 73 at-bats. He reached base twice in a game for the first time since June 27. Wood, who delivered a game-winning homer against the Rays on Friday night, carried a .159 batting average and .227 slugging mark into Tuesday night's game. He has assumed the shortstop role with Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis sidelined. Aybar is out for the season, but Izturis could return, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Brandon's numbers are going to be ugly," Scioscia said. "He's going to have a lot of things to hopefully look back on and use as a springboard to play better. That's what this playing time does. This will continue in the Fall League. He's doing it in an environment he's going to have to achieve in next year."
Bourjos' education continues
ANAHEIM -- On Monday night against the Rangers at Angel Stadium, Peter Bourjos once again demonstrated the multiple gifts that have the Angels excited about his future as their center fielder.Bourjos, who slammed a big three-run home run on Sunday against the Rays, dropped a perfect bunt single in the sixth inning after singling leading off the third inning against lefty Derek Holland. Bourjos stole third base in the third inning and second in the sixth, his blazing speed in evidence. Bourjos is 7-for-8 in steal attempts, and while his offensive numbers aren't impressive -- .205 average, .379 slugging, .239 on-base -- he has shown enough to suggest far better things on the horizon. "Obviously, he's had some good at-bats and some tough at-bats," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're starting to see a more confident level in the batter's box. He was running the bases well last night, and he got the bunt hit. The experience has to help him. "We're seeing little snapshots of what he can do. His challenge is to put all those snapshots together and make a photo album."
Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo was not seriously injured when he was hit on the left foot by a pitch on Monday night, manager Mike Scioscia said. Kevin Frandsen replaced Callaspo at third on Tuesday night. ... Statistical oddity: Joel Pineiro and Scott Kazmir are both nine strikeouts away from 1,000 in their careers. They'll pitch Friday and Saturday, respectively, against the White Sox. ... The Angels' high Class A affiliate, Rancho Cucamonga, fell to San Jose, 7-6, in 10 innings in the decisive game of the California League championship on Monday night. It was the Giants' second straight Cal League title and 11th in franchise history. ... On Friday, before the Angels engage the White Sox, the 50th anniversary logo will be revealed at various locations at Angel Stadium. The team's home, road and alternate uniforms for 2011 also will be on display. Fans are invited to the 50th Anniversary Kickoff at the home-plate gate between 5 and 7 p.m. PT. Prizes will be presented at the event.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.