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Angels

Angels’ itinerary still up in the air as playoff chase continues

Angels’ Albert Pujols doubtful for Opening Day after foot surgery

Albert Pujols reacts after flying out and stranding the tying run in the ninth inning against the Athletics on Sept. 30.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Angels’ next game in Anaheim could be Monday. It could be a week from Sunday. It could be April 5, 2016.

That made the home clubhouse an especially crowded place Wednesday, with bags strewn all over the floor. The Angels, who’ll finish the regular season at Texas, could be back in four days, but the players were told to pack for 10 days — and to bring their passports, for use should they advance to the division series and open in Canada.

“It’s definitely weird not knowing if this is our last home game,” pitcher Hector Santiago said.

Santiago said he had thought about “a double tiebreaker, maybe a triple tiebreaker.” Pitcher Joe Smith counted the possibilities on his hand: back to Anaheim for a tiebreaker, fly to Houston for a tiebreaker, stay in Dallas after Sunday’s regular-season finale and wait out an Astros-Twins tiebreaker, fly to New York for a wild-card playoff, fly to Kansas City or Toronto for the division series.

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“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s kind of fun for us too.”

Catcher Chris Iannetta had to improvise. He could not clear out his locker, but he had to clear out his rental home, as the lease had expired.

“I have to be out now,” he said, “regardless of whether we’re in the playoffs.”

He stored some of his belongings in his locker, others in his car. If the Angels play again at home this season, he will move into a hotel, he said.

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Trout a no go

With none out in the ninth inning, Mike Trout walked. He represented the tying run, and a single would have scored him from second base.

Trout, who had stolen second base earlier in the game, said he decided not to try to steal.

“With the guys behind me, one swing of the bat can win the ballgame,” he said. “Everybody has been swinging the bat well.”

Albert Pujols popped up. C.J. Cron lined out. David Freese singled, and Trout would have scored the tying run had he been on second base. Collin Cowgill, who had not batted in nine days, pinch-hit and grounded out to end the game.

Trout has two stolen bases since the All-Star break, two fewer than Pujols.

For the season, Trout has stolen 11 bases and been caught seven times. His stolen-base total has dropped each season, from a league-leading 49 in his rookie season of 2012, to 33 two years ago and 16 last year.

Jo-Jo a go

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With five games left in the regular season, the Angels on Wednesday added a pitcher who last pitched in the major leagues four years ago.

He is left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes, 30, who started this season in the Mexican League. He had not pitched anywhere in 27 days, but the Angels’ pitching staff is battered and exhausted

“We need arms,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. “To get those two innings out of Mat Latos yesterday was huge.”

Latos was signed Monday, after the Dodgers released him. To make room for Reyes, the Angels designated infielder Grant Green for assignment.

Reyes, who played high school ball at Riverside Poly, has pitched in Mexico, South Korea and both triple-A leagues since his last major league game. He signed with the Angels in June and made 15 appearances at triple-A Salt Lake.

The streak turns 13

The Angels extended their streak of selling 3 million tickets to 13 consecutive years, but just barely.

They finished the home schedule by selling 3,012,747 tickets, down 12% from the 2004 record of 3,406,790.

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The Angels and New York Yankees are the only major league teams to sell 3 million tickets in each of the last 13 years.

The Dodgers have sold at least 3 million tickets in every non-strike season since 1992 except for one — 2011, the year former owner Frank McCourt took the team into bankruptcy.

Follow Bill Shaikin on Twitter @BillShaikin


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