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04/18/08 10:14 PM ET

Guerrero back in the lineup as DH

Angels right fielder is battling a bruised right index finger

ANAHEIM -- Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero isn't crazy about being a designated hitter, but he'd rather sit and hit four or five times than sit and not hit at all.

After missing Thursday night's game against the Royals with a bruised right index finger, Guerrero was back in the lineup in the DH role on Friday night against the Mariners.

"He feels good," manager Mike Scioscia said. "The other day [Wednesday], it was bothering him when he threw. We'll [make] progress with him and get him back on the field."

Guerrero said the swelling in the finger is something he's grown accustomed to, "something I've lived with my whole career. I play with it."

He traces it to 1996, when he was hit by a pitch in Class A in the Montreal organization. Since then, he said, the swelling starts at some point in the season, usually around 100 at-bats. He came into Friday night's assignment against Mariners knuckleballer R.A. Dickey batting .277 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 65 at-bats.

Batting in the seventh inning on Wednesday night against the Royals, Guerrero experienced some pain in the finger when his hands stuck to the pine tar on the bat.

"He generates so much force with that bat," Scioscia said, "and if your hands can't release the bat, all that force is staying on your finger. It's almost like when you're on artificial turf and you go to plant -- and your foot sticks because it's too sticky -- and you turn and tweak a knee."

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.