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Scioscia tries another Pujols-less lineup

Scioscia tries another Pujols-less lineup

Scioscia tries another Pujols-less lineup

ANAHEIM -- The Angels were riding a season-high six-game losing streak, had just suffered three straight defeats to the Rangers via walk-off home runs and the offense had scored three runs or fewer in eight of 13 second-half games.

It was time to switch it up.

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And so, for Thursday's series opener against Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson, Angels manager Mike Scioscia did. The big-swinging Kole Calhoun batted leadoff; Mike Trout was back to the No. 2 spot after hitting third in place of Albert Pujols over the last five games; Josh Hamilton -- 5-for-11 in Texas -- hit third for the second time all season; and Howie Kendrick, Mark Trumbo, Erick Aybar, Chris Nelson, J.B. Shuck and Chris Iannetta followed, respectively.

"There are some things you have to work around when a guy like Albert is not in the lineup," Scioscia said. "It's a look we've had before, so I don't think it's totally foreign except for Josh moving to the three-hole. It will give us a good look early in the first inning and hopefully we get some big boys up there with guys on base and see what happens. I think it's a good place for Erick to hit in the six-hole, in more of a spot where he can just slash and do what he does best and that's make contact and get hits, and maybe it'll be productive with some guys on base."

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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