5/16/2014 2:57 A.M. ET
Cowgill focused on reaching base ahead of sluggers
By Earl Bloom / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill steadfastfully refuses to budge an inch from his "one day at at time" approach.
Based on how it's worked for him the past month as a regular, why should he?
"I still take it one day at a time," Cowgill said. "My goal, whether it's my sixth game in a row or one in a week, is to be on first base with guys like Mike [Trout], Albert [Pujols] and, when he gets back, Josh [Hamilton] coming up. The more I can be on base, the better chance we have to win."
Cowgill, hitting .321 with a .421 on-base percentage, has reached base in 22 of his 23 starts, with hits in 12 of the past 13. He walked six times in his last 12 plate appearances prior to Thursday's 6-5 comeback win, and the Angels are 14-9 with him as a starting outfielder.
"Collin's always had the ability to play every day," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's getting an opportunity [with Hamilton and Kole Calhoun injured], and he's made the most of it.
"We've had a lot of guys come through, but without the contributions from Collin, we'd have a tough time scoring the runs we need to win. He's doing a tremendous job. He can lead off, he can hit anywhere in the lineup, wherever we need him."
Cowgill led off against the Rays, his 11th such assignment.
Kohn shutting down opponents' scoring chances
ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Michael Kohn has a streak of 17 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run since Seattle scored two off him April 1.
But what Kohn said he's proudest of is stranding inherited runners. He's 9-for-9 this season, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inning on Sunday in Toronto.
"I take a lot of pride in [stranding] inherited runners," Kohn said. "Especially in a game like that where [Jered] Weaver had been throwing the ball great all day. To get out of that for him, with no runs scoring, was special."
Kohn fills a utillity role in the Angels bullpen. Fernando Salas has staked out the seventh, with Joe Smith and Ernesto Frieri rotating in the eighth and ninth innings. Kohn never pitches in save situations and rarely in hold situations, but he often comes in when the Angels are behind.
"When I was in the Minor Leagues, I was a closer, and I fed off that adrenaline," Kohn said. "It's not the same most times when I pitch, but I try to take the same approach."
Cortisone shot reduces De La Rosa's inflammation
ANAHEIM -- Right-hander Dane De La Rosa, Angels manager Mike Scioscia's 75-game bullpen workhorse in 2013, is optimistic his latest rehab setback is just a minor bump in the road.
"I just felt some tightness after the last inning I had, so I decided to shut it down," De La Rosa said Thursday at Angel Stadium.
De La Rosa had been pitching at Triple-A Salt Lake but came back to Anaheim on Wednesday to be examined. He received a cortisone injection in his AC joint and won't throw again for two days before heading back to continue rehab.
"It killed a lot of the inflammation," De La Rosa said, adding he had "no concern whatsoever. I just needed to get this taken care of."
He said he was pleased with his consistent velocity -- 92-93 mph, with some 94-95s thrown in -- before the tightness happened.
Scioscia said De La Rosa was showing the velocity needed to pitch in Major Leagues before the setback. De La Rosa experienced forearm tightness in the spring that cost him most of the Cactus League season. He rehabbed and came back to pitch in one game for the Angels but with diminished velocity, so he went back on the disabled list.
• Left fielder Josh Hamilton (left thumb, April 7) hit on the field Thursday for the first time since his injury. He's on target to begin playing in Minor League rehab games at the end of next week, Scioscia said.
"He looked great for the first day swinging," the manager said, but added, "this was just the first step to the last hurdle" before Hamilton's rehab leads to his eventual return.
• Calhoun (sprained ankle, April 14) went through two days of agility drills and baserunning with good results, and will begin a rehab stint with Salt Lake City in Reno, Nev., this weekend.
"He ran very well," Scioscia said. "It was a great workout. He's ready to play."
Calhoun said he hoped to be ready after three games in Reno and possibly a fourth Monday at Salt Lake.
"So far, everything's going great," he said.
• Left-hander Sean Burnett (2013 elbow surgery) "is making a lot of progress" in extended spring camp games.
"His velocity looks good. He's getting better every time he pitches," Scioscia said.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.