Angels get Andrelton Simmons back, but Justin Upton forced to sit with bad back

Here’s how unlucky the Angels are these days when it comes to injuries: Even when they welcome back a player, they end up losing someone else.

So Saturday, as Andrelton Simmons returned from a sprained ankle, Justin Upton was unable to play because of tightness in his lower back.

The left fielder said he woke up feeling discomfort and was unable to get loose. He hoped to play Sunday.


Simmons, among the American League’s leading hitters, finished hitless in four at-bats and handled three chances in the field. Manager Mike Scioscia used the term “light speed” to describe how quickly Simmons came back after he turned his ankle June 5 and missed eight games.

Simmons recalling his experience playing soccer, wasn’t surprised how quickly he was able to rejoin the team.

“I normally heal up fast from ankle injuries,” he said. “I’ve rolled them before, so I know how to bounce back.”

Jewell has ‘friggin’ fun’ debut

Jake Jewell had a fairly heartfelt reaction to his big-league debut.

“That was friggin’ fun, man,” the reliever said after pitching a scoreless eighth inning against Oakland.

Jewell, 25, retired three of the four batters he faced, hitting Stephen Piscotty with a pitch. His fastball reached 96.9 mph.

“I was definitely nervous going out there,” said Jewell, a fifth-round pick in 2014. “I just knew I had to attack the hitters.”

Scioscia called Jewell “a power arm,” noting “when he harnesses it, there’s no doubt it’s a major league arm.”

Short hops

The Angels designated reliever Oliver Drake for assignment to make room for John Lamb, who made his first start for the Angels and allowed two runs on three hits in five innings. … With Simmons returning, infielder Nolan Fontana was optioned back to triple-A Salt Lake. … Along with all the big-league injuries, starting pitcher Parker Bridwell is on the disabled list at Salt Lake because of elbow inflammation.