ANAHEIM - Even after going 2-for-4 and hitting the game-winning home run on Tuesday night, Angels outfielder Garret Anderson was out of the starting lineup on Wednesday for the third time in four games. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Anderson was held out because Oakland's starting pitcher, Dana Eveland, is a left-hander. But Anderson's .270 batting average against left-handed pitchers this season is better than his .255 mark against right-handers. "It's just the circumstances," Scioscia said. "Garret has been getting consistent at-bats. Garret needs at-bats to get into a groove and we need to get him those at-bats. But occasionally, especially with a day off tomorrow, we'll give him a chance to rest, and he'll pick up Friday."
Anderson, however, said he doesn't like the rest because it gets him out of the flow of batting every day. "The next time I play, it's going to feel like I'm starting over again," Anderson said. "I've said all along I like to play every day and that's how I can get a gauge on how I'm feeling." Juan Rivera started in Anderson's spot in left field and batted eighth in the lineup. Rivera is batting .156 this season against lefties but is a career .285 hitter against southpaws. He started both games in place of Anderson this week and went 2-for-7. "This is probably one of the first days where we've talked about guys swinging the bat well and taking them out," Scioscia said. "Garret had a good night last night, but we have to see if Juan gets some at-bats to contribute. I guess it was just a unusual dilemma." Anderson, who is batting .259 with eight homers and 37 RBIs, reiterated again on Wednesday that he is still confident in his abilities. "I know I can still hit," Anderson said. "I can let the ball travel and still hit it. I got a fastball inside last night and didn't have to cheat to hit it. I'm not at that point in my career where I have to cheat or start guessing." The Angels also made a few other lineup changes on Wednesday but kept the basic framework of Tuesday's lineup by keeping a traditional power hitter out of the No. 3 spot. Maicer Izturis (16 career homers) batted third on Tuesday and Erick Aybar (three career homers) took his spot Wednesday. "We're looking for a more situational look to our lineup," Scioscia said. "I think this grouping, with having a guy who can handle the bat in the third spot, like Izzy's bunt last night, creates situations that can impact the game."
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.