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Notes: Guerrero back in lineup at DH

Notes: Guerrero back in lineup at DH

BALTIMORE -- Vladimir Guerrero rejoined the Angels' lineup in a big way Tuesday after a four-game absence, getting a turn as designated hitter, and said he plans to begin testing his inflamed right triceps by participating in throwing drills while the team is in Baltimore.

Speaking through broadcaster Jose Mota, Guerrero said he would DH for three or four days and soon begin playing catch. Guerrero had not played since Wednesday, and a CT scan performed Friday showed a posterior impingement that is causing tendinitis.

"It's nothing that long range we anticipate will stop him from being able to play the outfield. Right now, it needs to calm down, and it has," manager Mike Scioscia said before the Angels opened a three-game series at Camden Yards. "If Vlad can swing the bat, that's big for our lineup."

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Any doubts the Angels might have had about Guerrero swinging the bat were erased Tuesday shortly after Scioscia's remarks. Vlad's two two-run homers were key to Los Angeles' 10-5 win over Baltimore.

Having Guerrero -- who entered with a .326 average and a team-high 22 homers and 110 RBIs before his two no-doubt shots -- in the lineup certainly makes the Angels more potent. But having him limited to DH duties means Scioscia must shuffle his lineup to accommodate the slugger's injury. Reggie Willits replaced Guerrero in right field Tuesday.

"Having [Guerrero] in the middle of our lineup is important," center fielder Gary Matthews said. "We don't really have a 30- or 40-homer guy except for Vlad. ... But all year long, when we've been missing someone, we've had somebody else ready to step in."

Scioscia will let Guerrero dictate the pace of his throwing activities over the next several days. The manager would rather take a conservative approach now and have a healthy Guerrero available for the stretch run and playoffs.

"If he feels good in that, throwing progression will start and we might get him in the outfield in a handful of days," Scioscia said.

Colon on Friday: Right-hander Bartolo Colon, who came off the 15-day disabled list Sunday after missing 45 games with right elbow irritation, will start Friday when the Angels open a three-game set in Chicago against the White Sox. Colon is 6-6 with a 6.72 ERA in 16 starts during an injury-marred season.

Scioscia's announcement that Colon would pitch was accompanied by news that right-hander Ervin Santana, who has slogged through 24 starts with a 6-13 record and 5.95 ERA, will at least temporarily move to the bullpen.

"Ervin has shown he can be valuable in the bullpen," Scioscia said, referring to Santana's service in relief during the 2005 postseason. "If Bart can throw the ball consistently down the stretch, it will give us a lift. ... A power arm [like Santana's] in the 'pen would be well received in any bullpen."

Santana didn't seem to perceive the move as a demotion, saying through translator Kelvim Escobar, "I'm going to be ready when they need me."

And it's clear the Angels view Santana as a starter in their long-range plans.

"He considers himself a starter and we consider him a starter," Scioscia said. "But right now, for the next week, we need to see him out of the 'pen."

Izzy ailing: A pair of ill-fitting spikes is apparently the cause of the sore right foot that's been troubling infielder Macier Izturis, who has hit in 15 of 18 games.

The placement of the spikes on the sole of his shoes has irritated the ball of Izturis' foot, Scioscia explained.

"It's been building up for a couple of weeks. He hasn't had a lot of time off. ... He's changed spikes, and that seems to have alleviated some of it," Scioscia said.

Coming up: Right-hander Kelvim Escobar (16-7, 3.04 ERA) goes for his 100th career victory when he goes against the Orioles in Wednesday's 4:05 p.m. PT start. Baltimore will counter with right-hander Daniel Cabrera (9-15, 5.11 ERA), who was ejected from his last start Friday for his actions in a fracas he started by zipping a fastball behind the head of Boston's Dustin Pedroia.

Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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