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Napoli, Izturis in lineup for Game 2

Napoli, Izturis in lineup for Game 2

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NEW YORK -- With Joe Saunders on the mound for the Angels, Mike Napoli got the call behind the plate for Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, replacing Jeff Mathis.

Napoli will bat eighth, behind Maicer Izturis, who starts at second base against right-hander A.J. Burnett in the customary platoon he shares with Howard Kendrick.

Kendrick, who had one of the four Angels hits against CC Sabathia in Game 1, is expected back in the lineup for Game 3 at Angel Stadium when the Yankees call on veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte.

Third baseman Chone Figgins, hitless in 16 at-bats in the Angels' four postseason games, remained in the leadoff spot for Game 2, followed by right fielder Bobby Abreu.

Center fielder Torii Hunter hits third, designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero fourth and first baseman Kendry Morales fifth. Left fielder Juan Rivera bats sixth, followed by Izturis, Napoli and shortstop Erick Aybar.

After scoring 16 runs in their three-game sweep of Boston and averaging 6.5 runs in 10 regular-season games against the Yankees, the Angels were shut down by Sabathia for eight innings and Mariano Rivera, who took care of the ninth.

The Majors' top hitting team for the season at .285, the Angels are batting .226 through four postseason games with on-base (.307) and slugging (.347) percentages also well down from their regular-season production.

"It's not just one guy," manager Mike Scioscia said when asked about Figgins' struggles after hitting .298 for the season with a .395 on-base percentage. "You need production from all aspects.

"We need Figgy to become a little more productive. I don't think he's tight. You're facing tougher pitching. At times he's trying to find a feel. Last year he swung better in the playoffs [batting .333]. In some counts he's getting some pitches [and not swinging] and other times he's swinging at pitches and giving pitchers [good] counts.

"This is on more than one guy. We didn't get a lot of production last night. We're going to have to swing the bats better and play better defense."

Figgins said he's "staying positive, not getting down on myself," adding, "I've been having some good at-bats, but the results aren't there. I'd like to see some results before this ends."

Abreu (.385) and Guerrero (.357) have been the club's most productive hitters in the four postseason games, but Abreu was hitless in four at-bats in Game 1, twice taking third strikes against Sabathia.

Guerrero crushed a double to deepest left-center and scored the Angels' only run in the fourth on Morales' two-out single.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["ALCS" ] }
{"content":["ALCS" ] }
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