08/14/12 2:56 AM ET
Angels ready to turn tide after team meeting
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Wilson OK after latest barehanded attempt
ANAHEIM -- Angels starter C.J. Wilson has a dangerous habit of using his pitching hand to attempt fielding comebackers. In Monday's 6-2 loss to the Indians, that act forced him to exit his start a little earlier than he might've -- but it isn't expected to affect him moving forward.Wilson used his left hand to try and field a hard line drive off the bat of Lou Marson with two outs in the seventh, but missed the catch and got nicked up. After being checked on by manager Mike Scioscia and the training staff, Wilson left the game -- granted, with 103 pitches already under his belt -- but X-rays revealed it only as a bruise. He should be ready to go when his turn comes back around on Saturday, against the Rays. "We went to the hospital and checked it out and they said it was just bruised and stuff; maybe some blood vessels that have been busted or whatever," Wilson said, after giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings but failing to get a win for his ninth straight start. "It's just a little discolored, but the swelling has already gone down and the grip strength is fine."
Kendrys moves back into cleanup spot
ANAHEIM -- On July 17, Angels manager Mike Scioscia finally decided to commit to Mark Trumbo as his full-time cleanup hitter behind Albert Pujols, dropping designated hitter Kendrys Morales to the No. 5 spot.That lasted less than a month. On Monday, for the series opener against the Indians, the surging Morales was back in the No. 4 spot against righty Justin Masterson, with the slumping Trumbo moving back to fifth. Morales, with a better feel for the bat since going without batting gloves and a better feel for pitches with more repetition, is batting .372 (16-for-43) with six homers and 12 RBIs over his last 10 starts. Trumbo, meanwhile, hit .213 with a .278 on-base percentage while slugging .360 after being placed in the cleanup spot. Asked if he feels Trumbo put too much pressure on himself to produce as the full-time cleanup hitter, Scioscia said: "He has a sense of urgency when it comes to production. Maybe he was taking too much on. But I don't know if that's the whole story. I think, at times, you're going to go through the ebbs and flows of a season, you're going to maybe have your ups and downs, and right now it's a little bit of a down turn." Trumbo will probably continue to bat cleanup against lefties, which usually prompts the switch-hitting Morales to sit.
Downs, Walden near returns to bullpen
ANAHEIM -- Angels lefty reliever Scott Downs, out since July 27 with a strained left shoulder, felt good coming off his first bullpen session on Sunday and is set for another one on Tuesday.Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that session "might roll into a simulated game," which would make him awfully close to returning to the Angels' beleaguered bullpen. Scioscia previously said he doesn't believe Downs will need to go out on a rehab assignment. Jordan Walden, sidelined since July 8 with injuries to his neck and right biceps, will pitch in his second rehab game for Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday night -- two days after giving up four runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Asked if this could be his last tuneup before rejoining the team, Scioscia said: "We're going to see. The last one was good, but showed he needed more work. This one, we're going to evaluate the same way and see where he is." Since the start of July, the Angels' bullpen has a 5.22 ERA, which is by far the highest in the American League.
With his two-run shot in the eighth inning on Monday, Albert Pujols became just the ninth player in Major League history to hit 25 or more homers in 12 consecutive seasons.
The Angels have signed veteran right-hander Tony Pena to a Minor League contract. Pena, 30, posted a 4.43 ERA while compiling 313 appearances (three starts) for the D-backs and White Sox from 2006-11. Pena was signed to pitch for Triple-A Salt Lake, but is rehabbing in Arizona from Tommy John surgery and isn't expected to pitch for roughly 10 more days. The Angels, along with AM 830 and the Angels Baseball Foundation, will host their third cooking challenge on Thursday. Trumbo, Ernesto Frieri, Peter Bourjos, Kevin Jepsen and LaTroy Hawkins will compete, getting matched up with local chefs in hopes of winning the approval of judges. Former players Troy Percival and Rod Carew will serve as "special guests." The event will be held at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased at am830.net. The Angels' wives are partnering with the OC Animal Care Center of Orange, Calif., to host the fifth Angels for Animals night at Angel Stadium on Friday. From 5 p.m. PT through the second inning, Angels wives will sell $40 mystery bags containing a baseball signed by an Angels player or coach, as well as $5 raffle tickets to win other autographed items. Proceeds will go towards the Animal Care Center and Angels Baseball Foundation. Fans will also have a chance to meet many of the animals up for adoption at the Animal Care Center. Following Saturday's game coverage, FOX Sports West will do a special re-airing of Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, as part of the Angels' celebration of the 10th anniversary of that championship team.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.