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OC Register: Andrelton Simmons returns to Angels’ lineup quicker than expected


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ANAHEIM — The Angels’ lineup is finally complete.

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was activated before Thursday’s game and slotted into the No. 7 spot in the batting order, joining Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani in the lineup for the first time all season.

“I thought I was going to be playing the most games out of everybody, and unfortunately that thing happened,” said Simmons, who suffered a Grade 3 left ankle sprain on May 21. “I’m glad everybody’s back. J-Up looks good out there. Ohtani’s swinging the bat good. (Mike Trout) is doing what he normally does. It’s going to be exciting times.”

Ohtani missed the first five weeks of the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and Upton missed about two and a half months because of a sprained toe. They are the Angels’ No. 3 and 4 hitters.

The Angels were without Simmons for just over a month, a relatively quick return from an injury that the Angels believed might cause him to miss as much as eight weeks.

“I was trying to fight with the trainers a little bit about that,” Simmons said. “They tried telling me how much it normally takes. … I don’t care about anybody else. I just tried to make progress as fast as possible. I’m just happy I’m back now.”

Luís Rengifo, who came up after Simmons got hurt, remained on the roster. The Angels will rotate him around at second, third and shortstop, giving days off to Simmons, Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher. On Thursday, Rengifo started at second and Fletcher had the day off.

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