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07/29/09 3:40 AM ET

Quinlan taking advantage of extra time

Los Angeles (59-40) vs. Cleveland (42-59), 12:35 p.m. PT

ANAHEIM -- As Robb Quinlan made his way into the Angels' clubhouse after Friday's 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins, he knew his cell phone would be exploding with texts.

A native of Maplewood, Minn., Quinlan received messages asking why he had to find his power against the Twins after his two-run homer came against the team many of his friends in Minnesota still cheer for.

Quinlan's excitement, however, didn't come because it was his second long ball in two games or against a team he grew up watching. No, his excitement came from the fact that the home run was a direct result of getting more at-bats after an injury to Angels left fielder Juan Rivera has opened the door to more playing time.

"I want to play as much as I can, so it is nice to get more consistent at-bats more often," Quinlan said. "I am thrilled about it."

The Angels' utility man has continued to play a key role in their ability to stay afloat and win games after injuries to outfielders Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero and Rivera.

Since Rivera injured his right hamstring on July 10, Quinlan has played in eight games, recording seven hits, two of which were home runs.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia throughout the season has continued to start Quinlan when the opposing team's starting pitcher is a lefty. In Quinlan's 23 starts, 21 have been against left-handed pitchers.

"I try to look at the schedule to see when left-handers are pitching," Quinlan said. "I want to play against lefties and righties, but that isn't always situation.

"I just get excited and hopefully I get a chance to play."

Knowing what an art it is to be able to come off the bench cold and start games after not playing in a few days, Quinlan tries to stay as fresh as possible by putting in extra time each day running the bases and taking grounders.

"You have to have an open mind," Quinlan said. "When you play, you have to try to not put too much pressure on yourself."

"Don't take it badly if you happen to not have a good game, yet a lot of times you are looking at the schedule, 'Well I might not play for a few games,'" said Quinlan.

Quinlan is likely to be starting once again on Wednesday, when the Indians' starting pitcher will be left-hander Aaron Laffey.

"You just have to stay positive because it is the only way you can really look at it," Quinlan said. "Wherever you are playing, just try and work hard each day, get better and hopefully things will happen."

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP John Lackey (6-4, 4.22 ERA)
Coming off a three-hit shutout of the Athletics in Oakland, Lackey was almost as good in yielding four hits across 7 2/3 innings of a victory over the Twins at home on Friday night. Joe Mauer's two homers were Lackey's only missteps as he kept pounding fastballs and curveballs in good locations, walking two and striking out three. Lackey has struck out 52 hitters in his past 58 1/3 innings across eight starts, going 5-2. He's 5-5 in 12 career starts against the Indians with a 3.49 ERA.

CLE: LHP Aaron Laffey (4-2, 3.71 ERA)
Laffey is coming off one of his career-best outings, as he found a groove against the Mariners and stayed in it. He allowed just three hits and no runs in seven innings. He threw 26 pitches in the first before settling down and retiring 17 of the final 18 batters he faced. He struck out a season-high seven. He is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two career starts against the Angels.

Sean O'Sullivan tossed a no-hitter for Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday in a 2-0 win over Sacramento and even had a perfect game until the first batter of the seventh inning. ... The Angels' 8-6 loss on Monday was their eighth loss this season when holding a lead in the eighth inning or later. ... Lackey has won his last three starts while posting a 1.10 ERA. ... Lackey is also one strikeout shy of tying Frank Tanana for fourth on the Angels' all-time list. ... Rivera played his third game of the season in right field on Tuesday. ... The Salt Lake Bees lost, 9-7, on Monday to Portland Beavers, however catcher Bobby Wilson extended his hit streak to a season-high 11 games and had three RBIs. ... Left fielder Randal Grichuk had two hits in the Tempe Angels' 7-2 victory on Tuesday.

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On the Internet
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•  Gameday
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Up next
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Angels (Ervin Santana, 3-6, 7.29) at Twins (Nick Blackburn, 8-5, 3.75), 5:10 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Angels (TBD) at Twins (Anthony Swarzak, 3-3, 3.74), 4:10 p.m. PT

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.