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Angels pitcher Sean O'Sullivan looks to contain A-Rod, Yankees

July 20, 2010 |  3:10 pm

Sean O'Sullivan won't have an easy task in his return to the big leagues. All the Angels right-hander, who was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake earlier Tuesday, has to do Tuesday night is contain one of baseball's best lineups and one of the game's most prolific hitters in Yankee Stadium.

O'Sullivan, who went 4-2 with a 5.92 earned-run average in 12 appearances, 10 of them starts, with the Angels last season, replaced the injured Scott Kazmir in the rotation. His first start will come against the team with baseball's best record and a slugger -- Alex Rodriguez -- who is two home runs shy of becoming the seventh player in baseball history to reach the 600-homer mark. Of Rodriguez's 598 career homers, 67 have come against the Angels.

"Six-hundred is a lot of home runs," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. "It's a select group of players who have done it, and when a player is approaching that, it's not even a milestone, it's a major stone. That's huge. It's certainly impressive, what Alex does. He'll be in select company."

Scioscia was asked if some of baseball's power-related milestones have lost some of their luster because some of them were compiled during baseball's so-called "steroid era." Rodriguez, in fact, admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in the spring of 2009.

"There are definitely some things to consider with big numbers," said Scioscia, an outspoken critic of several players who have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs. "But 600 speaks incredible volumes. You have to play an incredible amount of baseball to have that many homers. You're always going to be the lead dog, the player other teams are trying to contain, and Alex has responded to that."

--Mike DiGiovanna in New York