Notes: Izturis' rehab lengthy

Notes: Izturis' rehab lengthy

ANAHEIM -- Maicer Izturis continues to make progress during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake.

The reserve infielder has appeared in six games for the Stingers and posted a .412 batting average with two doubles and two RBIs. Izturis also has three stolen bases and has not committed an error over four games in the field.

Izturis would provide much needed infield depth for the Angels. Chone Figgins is currently the only backup at shortstop and second, and is second on the depth chart at third. The half-brother of Dodgers Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis, Maicer would move into the No. 2 spot at all three of those positions while supplying a speed boost to the bench.

"Maicer would free up Figgy to just DH," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Right now, we don't have a lot of versatility."

Izturis strained the MCL in his left knee during fielding drills at Yankee Stadium on April 26. The initial prognosis was that he would miss four to six weeks, but Tuesday's game with the Nationals was the seven-week mark for Izturis' absence from the active roster.

Still, the Angels are not going to push Izturis, who has yet to play a full game. Scioscia said they would like to see Izturis log a string of full games before activating him off the disabled list.

Rehab report: Curtis Pride began a rehab assignment at Salt Lake on Monday and went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Stingers' 6-1 win over Tucson.

The reserve outfielder was called up to the Angels on May 22, when Vladimir Guerrero was placed on the DL. Pride appeared in three games before suffering a strained right wrist on May 29 in a game against the Royals.

Do the math: The winning formula the Angels utilize is a pretty simple one: Outhit the opposition. The Angels are 27-5 entering Tuesday's game when they've outhit their opponent, but are 6-20 when they've been outhit. When the hits have been equal, the Angels have posted a 4-1 mark.

So far in June, the Angels are leading the Majors with a .324 batting average. Guerrero has provided a shot in the arm with his return from the DL, but contributions are being provided throughout the lineup.

"There is no doubt that a player of Vladdy's caliber and strength impacts the whole lineup," Dallas McPherson said. "Still, there are a lot of guys in this lineup doing incredible things."

Darin Erstad has been particularly hot, posting a .353 batting average in June, and Tuesday the first baseman extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying his career high. McPherson has also been doing his part. Over the last 15 games, the rookie third baseman has hit .313 and of his last 20 hits, 11 have been for extra bases.

His increasingly steady play in the field and progression at the plate has helped provide a boost to the offense while keeping him in the lineup.

"He's playing very well at third and if his confidence remains high you want to keep his bat in the lineup as much as possible," Scioscia said.

Keep the tension: Interleague Play carves out a major portion of the schedule during June and forces managers to adjust when they visit cities in the opposite league. Scioscia appreciates the break, but added that if the integrity of schedule is maintained, then he's fine with however it shakes out.

"As long as we have the intra-divisional rivalries at the beginning, middle and end," Scioscia said. "That keeps alive the flow of a pennant race."

On the farm: Kendry Morales went 0-for-4 in his first game at Double-A Arkansas on Monday, but drove in a run and struck out twice. At Class A Rancho Cucamonga, shortstop Brandon Wood is hitting .311 with 20 home runs, 50 RBIs and a 1.011 OPS over 62 games.

On deck: The Angels will conclude their three-game Interleague series with the Nationals at 7:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Right-hander Bartolo Colon will face Washington right-hander Ryan Drese.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.