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Angels' Bobby Abreu scratched with stiff back

Angels-dugout_300 It's not a good time for the Angels to lose Bobby Abreu from their lineup, even if it's just for a game.

The right fielder, hitting .455 with a home run and three RBIs in the three games since being bumped from second to third in the batting order, was scratched from Monday's game against Texas at the Ballpark in Arlington because of a stiff back.

Reggie Willits replaced Abreu in right field and Torii Hunter moved up to take the No. 3 spot in the batting order.

The start of the first game this season between the Angels and American League West-leading Rangers is expected to be delayed about 15 minutes after a torrential downpour that ended shortly after 4 p.m. PDT.

The Angels will be getting their first look this season at Vladimir Guerrero, who helped them win five division titles in the last six seasons before signing a one-year deal with the Rangers over the winter.

Guerrero, hitting .336 with seven homers and 31 RBIs, said before the game that he didn't need to show the Angels they made a mistake by not re-signing him.

"I always feel I've done my job my whole career," he said through an interpreter, "so I don't have to show anything to anybody."

Guerrero, looking more svelte than he did in his final, injury-plagued season with the Angels, visited with his former teammates in a tunnel beneath the stadium because batting practice was canceled in the wake of the heavy storm.

--Ben Bolch, reporting from Arlington, Texas

Photo: A downpour before the start of Monday's game sent water streaming into the Angels dugout. Credit: Eric Kay / Angels

 
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