6/20/2013 10:15 P.M. ET
Aybar returns to leadoff spot
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- With Erick Aybar leading off, Mike Trout hitting second and Josh Hamilton hitting seventh, the Angels unveiled their 42nd different batting order of the season prior to Thursday's game against the Mariners.
While Hamilton is hitting seventh for the second night in a row and Trout has hit second on 54 occasions, Thursday's change was moving Aybar from eighth to first and Peter Bourjos from first to ninth.
"Ideally, you'd love to have a lineup settle and people know where they are coming in to hit for the next 10 years, but that's not always where you are," Angels manger Mike Scioscia said.
While Scioscia admitted the leadoff spot could be a bit of a platoon for the time being, he wants to keep the middle of the order intact.
Trout has proven himself as a lead off hitter, but Scioscia feels Trout will be a middle-of-the-order guy as his career progresses, and keeping him in the second spot right now will get him more pitches to hit with Albert Pujols swinging a hot bat behind him.
"If we have to rotate out of the one hole, we'll do it," Scioscia said. "The big issue is trying to keep a little continuity through the lineup."
Thursday's contest marked the 32nd time Aybar led off for the Angels this season, but it was the first time since June 5. As a leadoff hitter, Aybar is hitting .254 with a .269 on-base percentage.
However, Aybar is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .400.
"Erick's feeling a little more comfortable, Scioscia said. "He's drawn some walks off [Felix] Hernandez, so we'll see if he can set the table," Scioscia said.
Aybar is hitting .241 in 58 career at-bats against Hernandez and is hitting .282 against right-handed pitchers this season.
Trout and Co. put Angels' defense on display
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' 54 errors are the second most in baseball and their .980 fielding percentage is tied for the worst, but the players and coaches know they can be a better defensive team than that, and it showed in Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Mariners.
"We played good defense," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said minutes after the win. "We talk about our defense and it's important and we did a good job tonight supporting C.J. [Wilson]"
Mike Trout's leaping catch against the left-field wall to end the top of the seventh and preserve the lead highlighted the evening, but Peter Bourjos also made a clutch catch in center field and second baseman Howie Kendrick made a nice play covering first on a ground ball to first baseman Mark Trumbo.
"You always say trust the defense, but when you have a defense like that, it's good," Wilson said.
After snapping a string in which they committed at least one error in 10 straight games on Tuesday, the Angels have put together back-to-back error free games for the first time since May 29-30.
When asked if it was the best defensive outfield he has ever had behind him, Wilson's response was short and immediate.
"Yeah, easily," Wilson said. "When you have three guys that can throw, that can run, that can go over the fence to get it, it's pretty exciting. It really is three center fielders."
Trout -- playing left field with Bourjos in center and Josh Hamilton in right -- has made several impressive plays in his brief career, but Wednesday's catch caught the eye of Mariners manager Eric Wedge.
"Nobody else in the game catches that ball," Wedge said.
Wilson sees Trout play on a daily basis and had no doubts about the outfielders ability to get to the ball.
"It's Mike Trout, put a cape on him," Wilson said.
• The All-Star rosters will be unveiled on Saturday, July 6, at 3:30 p.m. PT on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell. The show will be nationally televised on FOX.
• Ryan Madson will play catch from 90 feet on Friday and will continue to throw from 90 feet until he feels he is 100 percent from that distance. He still has no timetable as to when he will get back on a mound.
• The Angels are the only team in the Major Leagues with three players -- Pujols, Trout and Trumbo -- to have at least 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 40 RBIs.
• The Angels have transferred the contract of right-hander pitcher David Carpenter from Triple-A Salt Lake to Double-A Arkansas.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.