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Scioscia will be cautious on artificial turf

Scioscia will be cautious on artificial turf

ANAHEIM -- As the Halos head to Minneapolis to begin their second three-game series of the season at the Metrodome, Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows what a beast it can be to play on artificial turf.

While Scioscia has seen artificial surface become closer and closer to grass, he still believes a synthetic field is a tough surface to play on.

"You definitely have to work harder to run on it because it has a sponge to it and while I think guys that play on it every day get used to it, when your not, you are going to feel some muscles that you never knew you had," said Scioscia.

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Playing on turf also raises concerns for the coaching staff on how to deal with certain players' injuries and if the turf may exacerbate them.

More than anyone, Scioscia will be keeping a close eye on Juan Rivera, who is coming off of a right hamstring injury. Rivera played right field in one game and was the designated hitter in the other two against the Cleveland Indians after missing eight games, yet Scioscia said Rivera would most likely not play more than one game at the Metrodome.

"That is a concern when you are on that turf as to where guys with injuries to their backs and legs and how it affects them," Scioscia said. "It is a different animal playing on turf, and it is certainly something we are looking at closely."

Scioscia even decided to rest shortstop Erick Aybar on Wednesday against the Indians in preparation for the turf, believing a day off would help lessen the blow of playing on such a hard surface.

Taking no chances when he does go to Minnesota, Scioscia will also make sure pregame workouts are not too strenuous and that players are careful when warming up.

"You really just want to get used to the field to get a feel for it, and turf is the extreme," Scioscia said. "We don't play much on it."

In April, the Halos were swept in three games at the Metrodome, with the Twins outscoring the Angels, 23-12, before the Angels took three of four games at Angel Stadium from July 23-26.

"You have to play baseball at some point, and we will get out there and play," said Scioscia.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP Ervin Santana (3-6, 7.29 ERA)
Maybe a road start will reignite Santana, who continues to have problems at home. He fell to 0-4 at Angel Stadium this season with a 12.38 ERA (33 earned runs in 24 innings) when he lasted only 3 2/3 innings and yielded six earned runs against the Twins on Sunday. He's been unable to find a consistent groove or his high-octane fastball after elbow issues delayed his season by six weeks and a forearm strain sent him to the disabled list a second time. Santana is 2-1 with a 3.52 career ERA against the Twins and is 1-0 in two starts at the Metrodome with a 3.86 mark.

MIN: RHP Nick Blackburn (8-5, 3.75 ERA)
Plagued by a fourth inning that saw him give up six runs, Blackburn got the loss on Saturday. Visibly frustrated with himself after the game, Blackburn said leaving balls up in the zone really hurt him in the fourth after not giving up a hit in the first three innings.

Tidbits
The final out of Sean O'Sullivan's no-hitter for Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday night came on a sliding stop by second baseman Sean Rodriguez, throwing from his knees to get the runner out at first. ... Lefty Trevor Reckling was superb for the Double-A Travelers in an 8-0 win Tuesday, allowing one hit in seven innings of work. ... Santana is 3-2 with a 3.71 ERA on the road compared to an 0-3 record at home with a 12.37 ERA. ... In Santana's first start against the Twins this season, he allowed six runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSW

On radio
• KLAA 830, KFWB, KWKW 1330 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Angels (TBD) at Twins (Anthony Swarzak, 3-3, 3.74), 4:10 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Angels (Jered Weaver, 10-3, 3.71) at Twins (Glen Perkins, 6-6, 5.42), 11:10 a.m. PT
• Monday: Off-day

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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