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Maicer Izturis (sore right knee) not in Angels lineup against Mariners

June 6, 2010 | 12:59 pm


Maicer Izturis, an infielder many Angels consider one of the keys to the team's offense, is experiencing some soreness in the area behind his right knee and is not in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Izturis, who had two hits, including a two-run single, and scored twice in Saturday's 11-2 win over the Mariners, has a history of hamstring and lower-back issues, and the switch-hitter missed most of May because of a sore shoulder.

"The trainers worked on him [Saturday] and he's OK, but we don't want to take a chance," said bench coach Ron Roenicke, who is filling in for Mike Scioscia while the manager attends his daughter's high school graduation in Southern California. "He's available to pinch-hit."

Kevin Frandsen, who has hit .452 in 13 games since being claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox, will start at third base and bat eighth.

"He's been great," Roenicke said of Frandsen, a utility player. "He has a personality, he's cocky and confident, and he knows how to play the game. He's not scared of anything. He's picked everything hit to him, and he's gotten some huge hits for us."

The Angels, who have won seven of their last eight games, will again try to stop speedy Seattle leadoff man Ichiro Suzuki, who has a .354 average and had five hits in seven at-bats in the first two games of the series against the Angels.

"You're not going to stop Ichiro," Roenicke said. "It looks like he checks out the defense and hits the ball accordingly. How do you stop that? You move to the line, he hits the ball in the hole. You play in the hole, he hits it down the line. I don't know what to do.

"He has such good bat command, you really can't defend him. He hits the ball deep to both gaps, and he bloops the ball to all fields, too. When he wants to hit for power, he does. You just try to throw a pitch outside of the zone and hope he gets himself out."

--Mike DiGiovanna, reporting from Seattle

Photo: Angels utility infielder Maicer Izturis connects for a single against the Blue Jays last month. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire