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Scioscia’s order of the day: Talk to Anderson

Times Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Mike Scioscia pulled Garret Anderson aside Saturday and informed the struggling left fielder he was being dropped from cleanup to sixth in the order, with first baseman Casey Kotchman moving into the fourth spot.

What does a manager say to a 14-year veteran, a long-time middle-of-the-order presence, a franchise leader in games, hits, doubles, total bases and runs batted in, who is being demoted?

“I told him, ‘Don’t get used to it,’ ” Scioscia said. “He understands it. He also understands the flip side, how important he is to this club.”

Anderson was hitting .234 this season and .159 in his last 44 at-bats before Saturday’s game against the Tigers. Kotchman was batting .329 with a team-leading six home runs and 16 RBIs.

“The way Kotch is swinging right now, it’s good to get him into a position where, hopefully, there will be some runners on,” Scioscia said. “He’s been giving us good at-bat after good at-bat. And maybe it will help Garret relax, get him going.”

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Does Scioscia envision Kotchman hitting cleanup for a while?

“Right now, it’s a good fit,” Scioscia said, “but if G.A. is swinging like he can, we’re going to be deeper with him batting cleanup.”

Anderson singled once in four at-bats Saturday, a sharp grounder to right field during the Angels’ three-run seventh, and Kotchman singled once in three at-bats.

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Reliever Jose Arredondo joined the Angels from triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday with an electric fastball and a bit of a reputation.

Pitching for double-A Arkansas in June, Arredondo stormed off the mound after being replaced in a game and got into an altercation with teammate Curtis Pride, who was trying to calm him in the clubhouse. The Angels suspended Arredondo and demoted him to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

This spring, Preston Gomez, the Angels’ special assistant to the general manager, spoke with Arredondo about his temper. Gomez was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck while returning home from camp.

“Preston had some candid talks with this kid in spring training, and I mean, very candid,” Scioscia said. “And I think he responded well.”

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Vladimir Guerrero’s double in the eighth inning was the 2,000th hit of his career.

“He’s got a lot more coming, too,” Scioscia said. “This is just a milestone for him, one that validates the talent he has.”

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Right-hander Dustin Moseley, who began the game with a 1-2 record and 7.78 earned run average, had his best start of the season, giving up three runs and six hits in five innings and striking out five.

“Today was more me,” Moseley said. “I controlled what was going on out there, I didn’t get rushed, I did a better job. I just didn’t have the outcome I wanted.”

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Reliever Chris Bootcheck remained at the Angels’ team hotel Saturday because of flu-like symptoms.

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com


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