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Scioscia gives Kotchman a rest

Scioscia gives Kotchman a rest

KANSAS CITY -- Casey Kotchman insisted it was "nothing, really. I could have played."

Playing it safe, Angels manager Mike Scioscia rested his first baseman, giving Robb Quinlan a start on Wednesday night against Kansas City's Zack Greinke. Garret Anderson returned to the cleanup spot.

"He's feeling a little tightness in his [left] groin area," Scioscia said of Kotchman. "Under some conditions, he could have played tonight. Piggy-backing with an off-day [on Thursday], we hope to get some of this behind him. It's an opportunity to get this behind him and recharge."

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Kotchman ranks among the top five in the American League in average (.333), hits (40), total bases (65), slugging percentage (.542) and road batting average (.415). His defense has been brilliant.

Scioscia said Kotchman would have remained in the cleanup spot if he'd been in the lineup.

Kotchman, who has known Anderson since Garret played for his father, Tom Kotchman, in Boise in 1990, was delighted to see Anderson bust out with a homer, two singles and five RBIs in Tuesday night's 5-3 win, following his homer and two RBIs on Monday.

"Garret is as even-keel as a person can be," Kotchman said. "After the last two nights, you're not going to see him be any different. Some guys, you can tell when they're going good, great, not so great. You can just tell -- like a bad poker player. Not Garret. He's always the same."

Looking over, Kotchman saw Anderson seated at his locker, his head buried in Tony Dungy's autobiography, "Quiet Strength." It could be the Garret Anderson Story.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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