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Bourjos to return Monday, likely won't bat leadoff

Bourjos to return Monday, likely won't bat leadoff

Bourjos to return Monday, likely won't bat leadoff

BOSTON -- Peter Bourjos got a couple of plate appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday afternoon and will be activated off the disabled list for Monday's series opener in Baltimore.

When he returns, it probably won't be to the leadoff spot.

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Angels manager Mike Scioscia tweaked the lineup on Saturday, putting Mike Trout back at the leadoff spot in order to make Josh Hamilton his new No. 2 hitter. And Scioscia would like to keep it that way for the time being, which means Bourjos -- sporting a .370 on-base percentage before straining his left hamstring on April 29 -- will join Erick Aybar in the bottom of the order.

"Right now, I think we definitely want to give Josh a chance to get settled in the two-hole and lead off Mike," Scioscia said. "If that keeps going, it keeps going. If we have to adjust, we will."

The corresponding move to clear up a spot for Bourjos will be announced Monday and could be an interesting one. The only bench player with options -- besides backup catcher Hank Conger -- is J.B. Shuck, who has played very well as an everyday left fielder while Bourjos has been out. Infielders Brendan Harris and Chris Nelson, along with recently called up outfielder/first baseman Brad Hawpe, all have to be slipped through waivers.

Bourjos, who served as the designated hitter on Sunday and left in the fifth inning, went 6-for-25 with a couple of homers in seven rehab games (four in Triple-A, three in Class A). Scioscia's reports say he's "running good" and the hamstring has been "no issue at all."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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