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Angels update: Mike Napoli in Wednesday night's lineup; Maicer Izturis to start Thursday

April 7, 2010 |  5:55 pm

Mike Napoli, who hit 20 home runs in each of the past two seasons but struggled defensively this spring, will get his first start of the season behind the plate and bat eighth for the Angels in Wednesday night's game against the Minnesota Twins.

Maicer Izturis remained on the bench for the third straight game, but Manager Mike Scioscia said the utility infielder, who signed a three-year, $10-million contract this winter, will be in Thursday night's lineup, though he wouldn't say where. Izturis plays third base, shortstop and second.

"We wanted some infielders to get their feet on the ground, to get some at-bats, but Izzy will be an important part of the club," Scioscia said. "He will contribute."

Scioscia also said designated hitter Hideki Matsui will start in left field for the first time this season Thursday night. Matsui, limited by his arthritic knees to playing at designated hitter for all 142 of his games with the New York Yankees last season, played parts of four exhibition games this spring in left field.

"We want to work him into the outfield rotation as much as wee can," Scioscia said. "I think he's totally healthy. There are no issues. He's going to be effective, but we don't want to do anything that will risk his ability to swing the bat."



CF  Denard Span

2B  Orlando Hudson

C   Joe Mauer

1B  Justin Morneau

RF  Michael Cuddyer

DH  Jim Thome

LF  Delmon Young

SS  J.J. Hardy

3B  Nick Punto

P   Carl Pavano


SS  Erick Aybar

RF  Bobby Abreu

CF  Torii Hunter

DH  Hideki Matsui

1B  Kendry Morales

LF  Juan Rivera

2B  Howie Kendrick

C   Mike Napoli

3B  Brandon Wood

P   Ervin Santa

-- Mike DiGiovanna