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Colon makes his return tonight

Times Staff Writer

Bartolo Colon, sidelined for nearly eight months with a torn rotator cuff, will start tonight against the Seattle Mariners -- Colon’s first start since last July 26.

Colon said last week that he was “a little nervous because I’m not 100%,” but Manager Mike Scioscia said that was only natural for someone who has missed significant time.

“Any time a guy’s been out for a while ... you’ve got to get on the horse,” Scioscia said. “You’ve got to get out there and get into a major league environment on the mound.”

Colon, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner, made three rehab starts, two in Class A and one in triple A. He pitched 16 innings, giving up only two earned runs and nine hits with 13 strikeouts. In his latest outing, he threw seven shutout innings for triple-A Salt Lake, made 95 pitches and reached 96 mph on the radar gun.

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“His stuff has been very good throughout rehab and hopefully he can carry that on for us,” Scioscia said.

Colon will not be on a strict pitch count, Scioscia said.

“He’ll have enough pitches to go deep into the game if he’s effective,” Scioscia said. “He could easily throw 100 pitches.”

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The Angels activated Kendry Morales on Friday to fill the roster spot of Howie Kendrick, who went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a broken hand.

Morales, 23, a switch-hitting first baseman, was batting .291 with one home run, two doubles and eight runs batted in for Salt Lake. He hit .234 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games for the Angels last season.

Scioscia said he hoped Morales would be able to provide left-handed punch off the bench for an offense that before Friday had scored six runs in six games and had batted .216 over the last 10 games.

“Kendry is the guy swinging the bat the best right now,” Scioscia said. “I think at this point our offense is what it is and it’s nice to be able to infuse another bat here and there if we have to. Kendry’s that guy.”

There had been speculation that the Angels might call up touted infield prospect Brandon Wood, who hit 43 home runs in the minors last season. But Scioscia said Morales got the call because he has experience.

“Wood was in the pool of players we talked about,” Scioscia said. “We gave him consideration, [but] the way it falls into place is we’re going to give Kendry a look and see if he can bring us a little bit of offense.

“He’s been here, he’s swinging the bat well and particularly being

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The Angels’ recent offensive woes have been well-documented, and Scioscia said it might be reaching the point of desperation.

“I’ve heard about teams putting bats in a pile and burning some incense over them,” he said. “Sprinkling holy water. I don’t think we’re to that point, but maybe it couldn’t hurt.”

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Seattle outfielder Jose Guillen returned to Anaheim for the first time since July 2005, when he played for Washington and incited a benches-clearing brawl after tipping off Nationals Manager Frank Robinson that Angels pitcher Brendan Donnelly had pine tar in his glove.

Guillen refused to speak to reporters about the incident Friday, but said earlier this week that he was “pumped” and “pretty fired up” about coming back.

Scioscia, who had a clubhouse altercation with Guillen when the outfielder played for the Angels in 2004, said he thought all the bad blood was behind them. “He’s flip-flopped,” Scioscia said. “Everything was fine when he was traded.”

Guillen, who was suspended by the Angels for the last eight regular-season games and the playoffs in 2004, said he has never talked to Scioscia about their issues, but Scioscia said they spoke twice and that Guillen apologized and took responsibility for his actions. That the volatile outfielder is using the past as motivation confused Scioscia.

“It’s just been a circle of contradictions,” he said. “We’ve moved on and that’s it.”

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peter.yoon@latimes.com


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