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OC Register: Angels drop slumping Ian Kinsler from leadoff spot


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DENVER — Although Mike Scioscia concedes there’s no place to hide a hitter in a major league lineup, he’s nonetheless trying a new neighborhood for Ian Kinsler.

Scioscia moved Kinsler out of the leadoff spot, to the No. 6 spot, for Wednesday’s game. Kinsler was hitting .189, including .134 over his previous 67 at-bats.

With Mike Trout batting second, it’s obviously better if the Angels’ leadoff man is getting on base more regularly.

“There is a lot of focus on whoever is hitting in front of Mike,” Scioscia said. “Ian is just working on a couple things. I’m sure at some point he’s going to get back up there.”

Cozart was hitting .313 over his past eight games, around a short break with some back tightness.

Scioscia was also asked if he considered putting Andrelton Simmons, who has been the second-hottest hitter, in front of Trout. Simmons has mostly been hitting fifth.

“I think Simba is really good where he is,” Scioscia said. “I like him hitting with guys in scoring position.”

NEXT FOR OHTANI

The Angels have officially listed Shohei Ohtani as the starter for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium, continuing their pattern of using him on six days’ rest when possible.

That means Ohtani is likely to be in the lineup as the DH on Thursday and Friday, and off Saturday.

Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs are scheduled to start the first two games of the series. Nick Tropeano is expected to come off the disabled list to start Saturday.

ALSO

Scioscia said “everything was good” with Keynan Middleton’s rehab outing Tuesday night and it’s possible that he could be activated as soon as Thursday. Middleton has been out with elbow inflammation. …

Blake Wood (elbow impingement) was supposed to be back by now. He still hasn’t thrown off a mound, although that’s been imminent for a few days. “Just the process of getting the inflammation out of there,” Scioscia said. “Sometimes it takes a day or two longer to get to the next step. You can’t run through any steps. Although we anticipated it would calm down a little quicker than it has, it’s just a minor thing.” …

Parker Bridwell (elbow inflammation), who is on the Triple-A disabled list, is almost ready to get back into games, Scioscia said. …

Blake Parker has allowed two runs in his last 11 innings, with 11 strikeouts. Parker finished last season as the Angels’ closer but he got off to a rough start this year. “Lately we’re more excited the last couple outings because he’s making good pitches,” Scioscia said. “Now he’s feeling more comfortable. The process is important with Blake. I think we’re seeing a better process.” …

Thursday’s game will not be broadcast by the Angels’ local TV network. The national FS1 broadcast will air in Southern California.

UP NEXT

Angels (Garrett Richards, 4-1, 3.93) vs. Twins (José Berrios, 3-3, 3.98), Thursday, 7 p.m., FS1, KLAA (830 AM).

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