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Angels plug Michael Hermosillo into thinning outfield and hope for a spark

He began the month hitting for the cycle and Friday he hit for the Angels, batting ninth and starting in right field.

Michael Hermosillo's first big-league promotion capped what he called "a wild experience," the slumping Angels thinking perhaps he could provide a spark. He doubled to deep left in his first at-bat but struck out in each of his next three.

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"Now it's just about trusting what I've been doing and what I'm still capable of doing and doing it at this level, too," Hermosillo said, "because the game doesn't change. It's the same baseball game."

With Kole Calhoun struggling, Justin Upton's injury thinning the outfield corps and Tampa Bay starting the left-handed Blake Snell, the Angels turned to a 23-year-old who began last season at class A.

Hermosillo eventually reached triple-A Salt Lake in 2017 and opened this season with the Bees.

After a slow first couple weeks he began to emerge and, on May 1, hit for the cycle against the Fresno Grizzlies, a feat that included a grand slam.

After getting three hits on opening day, Calhoun has spiraled downward. He entered the weekend batting .163.

Upton was struck in the left hand Thursday by a Chris Archer fastball. Tests revealed no fracture, but he was not ready to return Friday. Manager Mike Scioscia said he hoped Upton could be back "in a couple days."

Shoemaker update

As the questions concerning Matt Shoemaker's forearm nerve injury persist, the right-hander suggested doctors could be "inching" toward a resolution.

Shoemaker visited a specialist this week in St. Louis and returned without any definite next step. He'll travel back to see the same doctor next week for a consultation that could yield some answers.

He said the medical professionals who have seen him are discussing the injury — one Shoemaker called "not normal" and "weird" — with an eye on finding a consensus on treatment.

"My frustration level is through the roof and it's been that way," said Shoemaker, who first started having issues in his right forearm 11 months ago.

A second surgery is possible, Shoemaker having undergone a procedure in August to relieve compression on the nerve. He said it appears that the nerve is being compressed again.

Wood update

Reliever Blake Wood (elbow impingement) could make another rehabilitation appearance before rejoining the Angels.

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Follow Jeff Miller on Twitter @JeffMillerMLB

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