Hot hitters take seat as Callaspo returns

Hot hitters take seat as Callaspo returns

Hot hitters take seat as Callaspo returns
MIAMI -- Maicer Izturis and Vernon Wells, two of the Angels' hottest hitters, were on the bench on Tuesday night against the Marlins, with Alberto Callaspo returning to action and Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos and Torii Hunter forming the outfield.

Callaspo, stationed at third base, hadn't started a game since June 11, when he departed in the seventh inning with a pulled left hamstring. He is trying to bust out of a slump that has him hitless in his past 18 at-bats. Izturis had three hits in Monday night's 2-1 victory, scoring the decisive run on Hunter's slow roller, and is hitting .438 during the past four games.

Wells, hitting .308 in the past 10 games -- with six homers and 14 RBIs in his past 20 games -- had the night off to get Bourjos' speed and defense back in center field and to make sure Bobby Abreu had a shot at Javier Vazquez. Abreu has 10 career homers against the veteran right-hander, and his next double moves him past legendary Rogers Hornsby on the all-time list. Abreu also is tied with Todd Helton with 541 career doubles.

"I guess he drew the short straw," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Wells. "He's been playing a lot of games. We definitely want Bobby in there. Of all the guys taken out of the lineup, Bobby affects us more than [anybody] with that left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup."

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Abreu has been hitting fourth of late to break up Hunter and No. 5 hitter Howard Kendrick, both right-handed hitters. Kendrick was elevated to the No. 2 spot against Vazquez, between Aybar and Hunter. Callaspo was in the No. 5 spot with Russell Branyan -- four homers in 11 career at-bats against Vazquez -- getting the start at first base in place of Mark Trumbo.

"Maybe it gives Torii a little protection," Scioscia said of having Abreu hit behind Hunter rather than in front of him, as in recent seasons. "Maybe Torii was expanding his zone a little too much. If Torii's going to take a walk, you have Bobby right there."

Hank Conger was given the start behind the plate, with Jeff Mathis having worked the previous two games. Third catcher Bobby Wilson is 2-for-2 against Vazquez with a homer.