NEW YORK -- Maicer Izturis was in the Angels' lineup on Friday night at Citi Field, where persistent rain created uncertainty over when the game would begin. Izturis has been nursing a sore right foot, having aggravated it on Monday night in his most recent start in Seattle.
"It bothered me a little bit again," the leadoff man said, "but it feels better now. It's on the bottom of the foot. I should be all right to play."
Izturis isn't sure when or how he initially hurt the foot. He believes it probably happened jamming his foot against a base, but he's uncertain when it happened.
Izturis, a .307 career hitter in June, is batting .314 on the road this season compared to .250 at home. This is one of many reasons why the Angels have been a better club on the road (18-17) than at Angel Stadium (15-20).
"It's just one of those things you can't explain," he said. "We'll get better at home when it warms up. We always play better when it's warmer."
Angels enjoy history of Interleague success
NEW YORK -- For all their well-documented struggles this season, the Angels, at 18-17 heading back into Interleague Play against the Mets this weekend, are one of only four teams in the American League with winning road records. They join AL East powers New York, Boston and Tampa Bay.
The Angels, at 70-54, also own the best road Interleague record in the history of the format, according to STATS LLC. Since 2007, their 26-10 record (.722 winning percentage) in National League parks is the best in the game. Boston (22-14, .611) is next, followed by Texas (23-16, .590). This offers support to Angels manager Mike Scioscia's long-held view that the AL West is the most underrated and most competitive of the six divisions.
"We've never had one designated hitter in the middle of the lineup, and all he's done is DH," Scioscia said when asked to explain his club's success against the NL. "You look at Boston, with David Ortiz, and when you take that bat out of the lineup, it's a different lineup.
"Our DH has usually been an outfielder. Bobby Abreu has DH'd more than anybody for us, but he's capable of going out and playing the outfield for five or six days in a row."
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Scalding-hot Abreu forced to sit at Citi Field
NEW YORK -- Returning to the city he graced before coming to the Angels, former Yankees outfielder Bobby Abreu is in the midst of a hot streak as the Angels face the Mets in Interleague Play, losing the designated hitter for the weekend series.
Abreu has been the club's DH for 52 games, starting in the outfield 15 times. With 22 hits in his past 15 games for a .407 average, Abreu has lifted his season average to .290 and is batting .300 with runners in scoring position -- second on the club to Erick Aybar's .340.
Owing largely to the vast expanse of outfield at Citi Field, Peter Bourjos drew the start over Abreu, playing center field with Vernon Wells in left and Torii Hunter in right against left-hander Chris Capuano. Right-hander Mike Pelfrey is scheduled to pitch the second game for New York, with another lefty, Jon Niese, set to go in the series finale on Sunday.
"We're not going to sit Bobby all these games," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to play at some point. With the size of the outfield ... on the defensive side, bringing continuity is going to be important. Peter's athleticism out there can make a difference. This might be the most spacious outfield going."
Since May 29, only Arizona's Justin Upton (.429), the Mets' Jose Reyes (.426) and Paul Konerko of the White Sox (.426) have higher batting averages than Abreu's .407. He owns 22 hits in his past 54 at-bats, tying the Dodgers' Matt Kemp during this time frame.
Continuing to rack up walks in his customary fashion, Abreu has moved to fourth in the AL in on-base percentage at .403. His .420 career OBP in Interleague Play is surpassed only by Albert Pujols' .439.
Angels' Chatwood enthused about hitting
NEW YORK -- Tyler Chatwood has been taking batting practice swings the past few days for the first time since his high school days -- just three years ago -- in anticipation of his Interleague start against the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field. He's scheduled to face left-hander Jon Niese.
Chatwood, the Angels' fifth starter, was an accomplished hitter and fielder before he was a pitcher. It wasn't until his senior year at East Valley High School in Redlands, Calif. -- alma mater of soccer star Landon Donovan -- that he drew scouts' attention as a pitcher, throwing 92-97 mph. They were aware of him already, however, viewing the 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete as a prospect as a center fielder and a shortstop.
"The last time I swung a bat," Chatwood recalled, grinning, "I hit into a double play. I hope that doesn't happen on Sunday."
His multiple talents -- he batted .521 and was 9-1 on the mound -- carried East Valley to the 2008 California Interscholastic Federation title game at Dodger Stadium before his senior year ended in a loss to El Toro High School.
"I think I had two hits before I hit into the double play," Chatwood said. "My first at-bat that game, I doubled down the right-field line. I'm an inside-out guy, like Howie [Kendrick]. It's been three years since I hit, but I'm looking forward to it."
He signed as the Angels' top pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, taken 74th overall in the second round. Chatwood had Tommy John surgery in high school, missing his sophomore year. He played third base as a freshman and center field as a junior before spending his senior year on the mound and at shortstop.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.