The Angels have considered putting Scot Shields on the disabled list or shutting him down for five or six days to give him a chance to ease the tendinitis in his left knee, which has bothered the right-hander since spring training.
But the reliever, who has a 6.75 earned-run average in 19 appearances, remains active and available, even after being pulled from Saturday night’s game in the ninth inning when he landed awkwardly on his left foot on a pitch to James Loney.
“It wasn’t my decision, but he was looking out for my best interests,” Shields said of Manager Mike Scioscia. “I felt fine. I wasn’t fatigued. I did land wrong on that last pitch, but I still felt good enough to pitch.”
Shields, who gave up the tying run in the eighth inning, walked Rafael Furcal to open the ninth and then walked Russell Martin despite starting with two strikes against the Dodgers’ catcher.
After his first pitch to Loney, the 34th pitch of the outing, Scioscia and a trainer went to the mound. Shields threw two warmup pitches well outside the strike zone, and Scioscia summoned Jose Arredondo.
“On the first pitch to Loney, he looked like he was really favoring it, and on the warmup pitches, he wasn’t getting out over his leg like he needed to,” Scioscia said. “He looked a little fatigued.
“We’re going to try to keep him within a certain number of pitches. He doesn’t feel it would be beneficial to shut him down, but we’re going to monitor him closely. He feels it’s manageable, and his stuff looks good.”
Second baseman Howie Kendrick was scratched from Sunday’s game because of a cramp in his left hamstring. To replace Kendrick, Scioscia moved third baseman Chone Figgins to second base and played Robb Quinlan at third.
Maicer Izturis would have been the logical choice to replace Kendrick, but the utility infielder has been slowed because of tightness in his lower back.
Kendrick had a mental lapse in the eighth inning Saturday, failing to tag Loney at second base after Loney sent a hit down the left-field line.
Juan Rivera made a strong throw to second base, apparently in time to nail Loney, but when Kendrick caught the ball, it appeared he was setting his feet and moving the ball from his glove to his hand to make a throw to first.
Loney slid into Kendrick’s feet, upending the second baseman, and was safe. Loney went on to score the tying run in an eventual 5-4 Dodgers victory.
“Howie just said he messed up,” Scioscia said. “He was upset, but he’ll learn from it.”
Kendrick has struggled with a .247 batting average, but he has not taken his frustrations from the batter’s box to the field, where he has been solid. He did not want to talk in detail about Saturday night’s bizarre play.
“Usually, I put the tag down,” Kendrick said. “I didn’t put the tag down.”
A move from the rotation to the bullpen did not agree with Shane Loux, who was put on the 15-day disabled list late Saturday because of an inflamed shoulder. The Angels recalled reliever Rafael Rodriguez from triple-A Salt Lake.
Loux’s shoulder began bothering him after throwing in consecutive games in Texas on May 15-16.
“It’s easy to say that’s the reason,” Loux said, “but that’s my job, I should be able to handle it.”
Where: Angel Stadium.
On the air: FS West. Radio: 830, 980, 1330.
Probable pitchers: Ervin Santana vs. John Danks. Tuesday: Joe Saunders (6-2, 3.17) vs. Bartolo Colon (2-4, 4.23). Wednesday: Jered Weaver (3-2, 2.52) vs. Gavin Floyd (3-4, 6.54).
Update: Santana’s velocity still isn’t up to par after sitting out the first six weeks because of an elbow ligament sprain. His fastball, in the 95-mph range when he’s in peak form, topped out at 93 miles per hour in his second start of the season Wednesday in Seattle. But Santana’s curve and changeup were much sharper during his 6 2/3 -inning effort, in which he gave up one run and five hits in a 1-0 loss. . Danks is 1-3 with a 7.50 earned-run average in his last five starts after a 2-0 record and 0.95 ERA in his first three starts.
-- Mike DiGiovanna