Kole Calhoun moves in Angels lineup, and Manager Mike Scioscia says he might stay there
In an effort to spark a struggling offense, Manager Mike Scioscia moved Kole Calhoun, who spent most of 2014 and 2015 batting in front of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, from the fifth to the second spot in the lineup Sunday.
Calhoun, who singled, walked and struck out twice in a 3-1 loss to the Rays, had hit second only once this season, on May 1 at Texas, but Scioscia indicated the move could be more than temporary.
“It’s a look we might stay with — we’ll see,” Scioscia said. “We’ve talked a lot about the need for our lineup to get deeper, but we definitely need to start getting some guys swinging the bats in front of these guys.”
Leadoff man Yunel Escobar has a solid .301 average, .365 on-base percentage and .447 slugging percentage. But the team’s No. 2 hitters — mostly Daniel Nava, Craig Gentry and Rafael Ortega — combined for a .217/.282/.225 slash line before Sunday. Calhoun has a .295/.373/.420 slash line.
“Escobar is doing a great job, but we’ve had a little trouble with the group of guys hitting second,” Scioscia said. “We’ll look at some different things and see if this is something we can go with.”
Facilitating the switch was the awakening of C.J. Cron’s bat, which gave Scioscia an option in the fifth spot. Cron has hit .396 (19 for 48) in 15 games to raise his average from .100 on April 17 to .261, but he still has only one home run.
“I think he’s controlling the zone better, hitting the ball better,” Scioscia said. “He’s not driving the ball to his capabilities, but he’s getting some hits to fall in, and hopefully it will lead to better things. C.J. can hit the ball out to any part of the park. That will come, hopefully, as he gets more timing.’
Memorable Mother’s Day
Rays right-hander Matt Andriese, who pitched at Redlands East Valley High and UC Riverside, allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking three, to earn the win. In attendance in Angel Stadium was his mother, Lynn, who had never seen her son pitch in a big league game in person.
“I couldn’t have planned it any better,” said Andriese, who made his 2016 debut after being called up from triple-A Durham. “I had a little bit of nerves in the first inning, but it went smoother after that.”
The Angels sent Garrett Richards’ MRI test results to ligament-replacement surgery specialist Dr. James Andrews and are expected to hear back from him early this week. Richards has a high-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm but wants to consult one or two more physicians before deciding on surgery. . . .
C.J. Wilson (shoulder inflammation) threw off a mound for the first time since March, making 23 pitches. “It’s the first step in a process that is going to take some time,” Scioscia said, “but it’s a good first step.” Wilson hopes to return by mid-June. . . .
Closer Huston Street (left oblique strain) could begin a throwing program early this week.
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