Reporting from Phoenix Designated hitter Kendrys Morales is scheduled to play with the Angels on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, Manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday.
It will be Morales’ first time in a major league lineup since he fractured his left ankle May 29, 2010, while jumping on the plate to celebrate a game-winning home run.
Scioscia is aiming for Morales, who took a rainy Sunday off after playing in minor league games Friday and Saturday, to get 40 to 50 at-bats before the Angels’ opener April 6.
Morales has nine at-bats. He was a combined two for five Friday in double-A and triple-A games batting left-handed, and and was one for four Saturday.
“I was a little disoriented [in timing pitches] but that’ll come with time,” Morales said.
The Cuban slugger, who hit 34 home runs and drove in 108 runs in 2009, tested the ankle Saturday by scoring from first base on a teammate’s triple, digging hard on the bases.
“Scoring the run was good because we tied the game and I kept running at the same pace,” Morales said through an interpreter. “I kept the velocity … [the ankle] feels good. No pain.
“It was a big step [on home], especially after so much time. Now it’s just a matter of getting back to where I want to be. Once I feel good running, I know I can do everything else.”
Angels tie Dodgers
The Angels tied the Dodgers, 1-1, at Camelback Ranch after strong winds, rain and hail struck before the bottom of the sixth inning.
Angels starter Dan Haren was sharp over five innings, striking out five and extending a streak of consecutive retired batters to 21 before Adam Kennedy doubled and scored on a single by Juan Uribe in the fifth inning.
Haren has struck out 15 batters in 10 innings over three starts and has surrendered only one run, one walk and three hits.
“I felt great, it’s just another step up in the right direction and I have three turns left,” Haren said after throwing 60 pitches. I was throwing more curveballs, and fastballs in to righties.”
With starting catcher Chris Iannetta two days removed from getting hit on the right elbow by a foul ball and backup Bobby Wilson still recovering from a strained calf, Hank Conger has reaped the benefits.
Conger’s is among the team leaders in at-bats with 30, and is batting .300 with two doubles and three runs batted in.
The team just can’t afford for Conger to get injured.
“When you worry about not getting hurt and scale back, you get hurt,” Conger said. “Being out there more has been good for me, being able to learn the new pitchers, LaTroy [Hawkins] and C.J. [Wilson]. And the more at-bats, the more confidence.”
Two are demoted
Shortstop Jean Segura was optioned to the double-A Arkansas and right-hander Eric Hurley was sent to minor league camp.
Segura, who turned 22 on Saturday, batted .381 in 21 at-bats and made some dazzling plays.
“He has as much upside as anyone in that room,” Scioscia said of the Angels clubhouse.
Scioscia said Hurley is “still on the depth chart,” but needs guaranteed innings that pitching in minor league games affords.
Segura is on the 40-man roster and was tabbed by Baseball America as the Angels’ No. 2 prospect, behind outfielder Mike Trout.
“I knew I wasn’t going to make the team,” Segura said. “But I’m happy with the work I put in. I worked my [rear] off and I’m a better shortstop now.”