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Ryan starts at first base for Angels; Hunter returns to lineup

May 31, 2010 | 11:24 am

The in-house auditions for Kendry Morales' first-base job continued Monday, with outfielder Michael Ryan getting his first big-league start at the position against the Kansas City Royals in Kauffman Stadium. Catcher Mike Napoli played first Sunday against Seattle, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Robb Quinlan also would get time at the position.

Ryan made 10 minor-league starts at first base in his career, including four at triple-A Salt Lake this season, but he said he had only played first base once in the major leagues, entering a game for the Minnesota Twins in 2005 after Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer suffered injuries. He did work out extensively at the position in spring training.

"I feel somewhat comfortable there," Ryan said. "If they asked me to catch, I'd do it. I'll do whatever I can to help the team."

Center fielder Torii Hunter, who was knocked out of Saturday's game against the Mariners when he was hit in the left hand by a Felix Hernandez fastball, was back in the starting lineup Monday.

"It's always scary when you get hit like that by a guy throwing 95 mph with sink, one of the hardest throwers in the game," Hunter said. "It's a little sore, but I swung in the cage Sunday and feel a lot better today."

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Kansas City, Mo.