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Vlad returns to Angels' lineup

Vlad returns to Angels' lineup

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LOS ANGELES -- Vladimir Guerrero, the big bopper, was back in the Angels' lineup on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, playing right field and looking to clean up in the No. 4 spot in manager Mike Scioscia's batting order.

Guerrero said he was "feeling better" after experiencing flu-like stomach symptoms in Washington. He missed Wednesday night's game against the Nationals after leaving Tuesday's game in the second inning.

Facing Chan Ho Park in the Interleague series opener with the Dodgers, Guerrero was hoping to resume his thunderous hitting. He carried a 15-game hit streak into the game after batting .444 with three homers and six RBIs in 18 at-bats in Philadelphia and Washington.

Guerrero's .424 batting average is the highest this month in the Majors. He has raised his season average from .249, the lowest of his career on May 31, to .290 with the recent spree.

Park, the veteran right-hander, is familiar with Guerrero, a .319 hitter against him with four homers in 47 at-bats. Most of those at-bats came during Guerrero's days with the Expos.

Maicer Izturis, who left in the third inning of the first game in Philadelphia with tightness in his right hamstring, also reported that he was feeling better and could play if needed. Erick Aybar got the start at shortstop and was handed Chone Figgins' leadoff role with Figgins sidelined by a left knee infection.

The Angels were a bench player down on Friday night. Outfielder Juan Rivera was with his wife in Miami, where she is recovering from the birth of a child, Scioscia said.

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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