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Angels can't hit, so Mike Scioscia cancels batting practice

August 18, 2010 |  3:32 pm

The Angels have scored 10 runs in the last five games and are three-for-28 with runners in scoring position in those games, so what did Manager Mike Scioscia do before Wednesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park? He canceled batting practice.

"At times when you're struggling, sometimes less is more," Scioscia said. "We've tried a lot of things to unlock some guys, get them to relax. We're going to go American Legion, get loose, get out there and hopefully have a good offensive day."

There are two notable deletions from the lineup: Shortstop Erick Aybar, who has four hits in his last 30 at-bats, and center fielder Peter Bourjos, who is hitting .122 in his first 12 big league games, are not starting. Reggie Willits will start in center field and bat second.

"With any player making the jump to the big leagues, a kid's confidence can take a hit if he struggles," Scioscia said of Bourjos. "But in the big picture, he's playing terrific defense now, and once he gets comfortable, he will contribute on the offensive side."

Scioscia wants to give Aybar a day off mentally, and to work with batting coach Mickey Hatcher on his swing.

"Aybar's swing is too big right now, from both sides of the plate he's getting long," Scioscia said. "He's not a prototypical home run hitter. He has to do what he does best, which is use the whole field, square up the ball with runners in scoring position and use his speed."

--Mike DiGiovanna in Boston