Angels forced to get creative on defense

Angels forced to get creative on defense

SAN DIEGO -- A wacky game reached a whole new level in the bottom of the 11th, when the Angels were forced to make an array of defensive changes after injuries to two left fielders and the grind of extra innings forced manager Mike Scioscia to burn all of his position players in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Padres in 13 innings.

Ryan Langerhans, who entered the game partly because left fielder Vernon Wells exited in the third with a thumb injury, hurt his right shoulder up against the left-field wall while trying to track down a John Baker double to start the bottom the 11th. That forced Scioscia to bring in his final reserve, catcher John Hester.

And that caused a chain reaction of position changes -- catcher Bobby Wilson to first, first baseman Albert Pujols to third, third baseman Maicer Izturis to second, second baseman Howie Kendrick to left field and all sorts of gloves being exchanged in hopes of keeping the game tied at 2.

"You play long enough," Mark Trumbo said, "you're going to see some crazy things."

With one out and a runner on third, Scioscia then brought in five infielders -- prompting Kendrick to once again switch gloves -- and had an uncovered left field against Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin, who David Carpenter struck out before retiring Chase Headley on a groundout to end the threat.

Two innings later, though, the defensive switches cost the Angels.

Will Venable sprayed a line-drive single to left-center field that Kendrick charged and then bobbled, allowing Padres starter Clayton Richard to score from first base and plate the winning run.

"Howie played some left field last year and did a fine job," Scioscia said. "The ball hopped up a little bit, and that happens."

Kendrick spent 23 games in left field in 2011 and said he felt comfortable out there -- except on that one play.

"It wasn't like I hadn't been out there before," Kendrick said. "Balls like that, you just have to keep them in front and make sure they don't get past you. Right there, I made a mistake, and they ended up winning the game on it."