Angels manager Mike Sciosica opted to go with Alberto Callaspo at third base and with Bobby Abreu in the designated-hitter role, leaving Izturis to come off the bench if needed. Scioscia likes having the switch-hitter available for big moments late in games with his .317 career average with runners in scoring position.
Callaspo also has been swinging a hot bat, hitting .400 on the 10-game road trip. Abreu is hitting .200 on the trip and is coming off one of the worst games of his career, striking out four times in five at-bats during Wednesday night's 7-2 win.
"I want Bobby in front of guys who are going to drive the ball, because of the way he can get on base," Scioscia said, explaining why Abreu was batting third in front of Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo, Callaspo and scalding-hot Vernon Wells.
Abreu is the Angels' most patient hitter. His .353 on-base percentage is the second highest among the team's regulars behind Callaspo's .365. But Abreu's other numbers (.251 batting average, .360 slugging) are down, and he has struck out 111 times.
"Bobby had a rough night last night," Scioscia said, "but he's given us good at-bats. He's started to hit the ball a little crisper."
Izturis is batting .280 with .394 slugging and .339 on-base marks. He leads the team with 35 doubles.