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Slumping Angels Hideki Matsui, Brandon Wood get Wednesday off

Neither Hideki Matsui, who is mired in a 6-for-52 slump that has dropped his average from .310 on April 24 to .228, nor Brandon Wood, who is in a 3-for-30 slump that has dropped his average from .197 on May 1 to .168, were in the lineup for Wednesday afternoon's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Angels_logo Manager Mike Scioscia wanted to combine Wednesday with Thursday's off day to give the 35-year-old Matsui two days off because "he's been grinding a bit," Scioscia said.

Matsui, who has been slowed for years by a pair of arthritic knees, said he has endured similar rough stretches in the past, but he couldn't say for sure whether he is in the midst of a prolonged slump or if his career, like many players in their mid-30s, is in decline.

"It's probably something that, after a couple of years, you look back and say that age was part of the reason," Matsui said through an interpreter. "It's something that I can't 100% deny. Personally, I feel good. I don't think that's the reason. That's my perspective."

Scioscia said Matsui would return to the lineup Friday night against Oakland. Wood, however, may get a few extra days on the bench to clear his head.

"Yeah, we're going to explore everything we need to do with a young player," Scioscia said, when asked if Wood would get more than one game off. "He won't pick up a bat for a day. We want him to stop pressing, to get rid of the anxiety."

Wood said he has made strides in the batting cage, "but I need to get it to where those things that are happening in the cage are happening at 7 p.m.," he said. "It's definitely been frustrating. I'm still hitting a buck-seventy. All I can do is work to get through it."

-- Mike DiGiovanna

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