05/28/11 7:45 PM ET
Bourjos, Hunter put heads together
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
It's an adjustment for all three players, given that all three are natural center fielders accustomed to going after everything they can reach. There have been a few blips along the way, most notably on Friday night, when Hunter and Bourjos juggled a fly ball that Hunter ultimately held for a huge out to end the Twins' eighth inning and keep the game tied.
"We had some discussion [Friday] night, trying to get an understanding," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have two guys who have incredible range who are still trying to work out some things. Those guys know they've got to stay aggressive. At some point, Pete's got to learn Torii's space, and vice versa.
"Pete felt there were a couple of balls early in the year he kind of shied away from and they fell in. He's trying to stay aggressive. There's a time when an outfielder should know who has the easier play. The center fielder has priority over middle infielders going out and priority, if it's not a routine play, over other outfielders. It's better to have guys too aggressive than peeling back."
The Angels are shading Hunter at times toward right center, taking advantage of his exceptional range in getting to the line.
"Sometimes their range is going to overlap," Scioscia said. "That range is an asset."
Wells readying to play in next homestand
MINNEAPOLIS -- Vernon Wells was tired, but it was a good kind of weariness. He'd been working out strenuously with the training staff before Saturday night's game against the Twins, testing his groin and getting back in condition for a return to the Angels' lineup that he'd like to see happen on the upcoming homestand running from June 3 through June 12.
"My whole lower half is sore from all the work I've been doing," Wells said. "I'd like to play on the next homestand. Once I have a few [Minor League] rehab starts, it will be a good indication of where I am with this."
Wells has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 10 after straining his groin on the right side coming out of the batter's box. It was the first groin injury of his career, and, as he discovered, "the groin is not a fun place to have an injury."
The timing of the injury wasn't good. After a sluggish start with his new team, Wells had begun to drive the ball with the force that made him one of the game's most feared hitters for a decade in Toronto before his shipment west in December in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.
Wells had three homers and seven RBIs in his previous eight games at the time of his injury, and the Angels were starting to get some consistency in their lineup.
"I knew [the consistency] was going to come -- it was just a matter of time," he said. "It's a matter, once you get back, of having that swagger back as a competitor. The biggest thing is knowing how good we can be. You look at the Red Sox, Yankees. It makes people upset because they're confident in what they're going to do. It's something we're confident we can be as a team."
Gardenhire impressed by Bourjos' speed
MINNEAPOLIS -- The electrifying speed of Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos caught Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's undivided attention when his team let a five-run lead get away on Friday night, in large part due to Bourjos' theatrics in the field, at the plate and on the basepaths.
Bourjos robbed Jim Thome of a potential home run, made another superb running catch to steal extra bases from Denard Span, legged out an infield hit to launch a tying five-run eighth inning, and tripled to left center in the ninth, scoring the winning run on Maicer Izturis' single.
"I saw him flying," Gardenhire said, referring to the triple that materialized even though the Twins handled the ball off the wall and the relay cleanly and with accurate throws. "I looked up toward first base, and he was already rounding second and coming from a long ways out because he took a big turn. He was flying. He can really run."
As for soaring to snatch Thome's drive to left center, Gardenhire said, "That was a really athletic play over the fence out there. That was impressive. He got that from a long ways."
The infield hit came after Bourjos sent a one-hopper in front of first baseman Justin Morneau, who bobbled the ball briefly and threw too late to pitcher Alex Burnett covering the bag.
"I think the ball hit to Morneau, where Burnett couldn't get over there, showed [Bourjos'] speed too," Gardenhire said. "It doesn't take much for him to be safe -- a little bobble -- but Burnie [Burnett] didn't get over there and cover first. But [Bourjos] was flying down that basepath too."
Bourjos had a flash of indecision as the ninth-inning drive off the wall was being fielded by Delmon Young.
"I'm coming into second and I wasn't sure," he said. "Usually I'm going, but I'm thinking [in] leading off the inning I didn't want to get caught. But I made it in, so it worked out."
Bourjos is tied with the Mets' Jose Reyes for the Major League lead with six triples. Nobody else in the American League has more than four. Bourjos leads the Majors with six bunt singles and is third in the Majors with 13 infield hits.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.