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Angels drop Vernon Wells in lineup

May 1, 2011 |  9:43 am

Vernon-wells_235 Scratching Jered Weaver from his scheduled start Sunday wasn't the only lineup change Angels Manager Mike Scioscia made.

Outfielder Vernon Wells, who has hit fourth or fifth all season, was dropped to the No. 6 spot while Howie Kendrick was moved to third in the batting order for the first time. Wells is hitting .174 while Kendrick, with five hits in his last two games, is batting .306 and leading the team with six homers.

"Vernon obviously has not hit stride," Scioscia said of Wells, who is one for eight in the Tampa series. "We need him, but we have some guys who have been swinging the bat better."

One of those is Alberto Callaspo, who also moved up a spot in the batting order to fifth. Callaspo sat out Saturday after going three for four Friday, raising his season average to .303.

As for Weaver, who leads the majors with a 6-0 record, the pitcher said he has been dealing with a stomach virus for two days, losing nine pounds. He needed to leave the stadium at one point this weekend to receive fluids intravenously, and although he said he felt better Sunday, Scioscia decided his pitcher was at too great a risk of dehydration to start. The Angels will check Weavers's condition Monday, when he is tentatively scheduled to start against Boston in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.

He is expected to be opposed by Boston's Clay Buchholz, who also missed his scheduled start Sunday with what was termed "intestinal turmoil."

Rookie Tyler Chatwood will go Sunday against the Rays and Alex Cobb, who will be making his major-league debut.

The lineups:

SS -- Erick Aybar

DH -- Bobby Abreu

2B -- Howie Kendrick

RF -- Torii Hunter

3B -- Alberto Callaspo

LF -- Vernon Wells

C -- Hank Conger

1B -- Mark Trumbo

CF -- Peter Bourjos

P -- Tyler Chatwood

Tampa Bay Rays

LF -- Sam Fuld

DH -- Johnny Damon

CF -- B.J. Upton

RF -- Matt Joyce

2B -- Ben Zobrist

1B -- Casey Kotchman

3B -- Felipe Lopez

C -- John Jaso

SS -- Reid Brignac

P -- Alex Cobb

-- Kevin Baxter in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Photo: Angels outfielder Vernon Wells. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images