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Angels: Turf not up to par for game against Nationals; Hunter nears return

June 27, 2011 |  5:48 pm


Mike Scioscia said the field in Angel Stadium "is typically the most pristine in the league, it's almost impossible to find a bad hop anywhere," but that may not be the case for Monday night's game against the Washington Nationals.

After U2 played concerts on back-to-back nights in the stadium on June 17-18, the grounds crew replaced the entire playing surface. Though it's been a week since the field was installed, the grass was not entirely settled by Monday.

"It's still good, but it's going to be a little rough," Scioscia said. "I don't think you'll see a multitude of bad hops, but there are more seams than usual until the grass grows in. It's playable, but it's not finished."

On the injury front, right fielder Torii Hunter, who sat out the weekend series against the Dodgers, took batting practice Monday for the first time since suffering a bruised rib in a violent collision with the wall in Florida on Wednesday night.

Hunter also threw at full strength, ran the bases at about 90% and did agility drills and said he "felt good." Though Hunter predicted he might not return until Friday, Scioscia said that if he comes out of Monday's workout, he could return to the lineup Tuesday night.

The Angels lineup: 2B Maicer Izturis, SS Erick Aybar, DH Bobby Abreu, RF Vernon Wells, LF Howie Kendrick, 1B Mark Trumbo, 3B Alberto Callaspo, CF Peter Bourjos, C Bobby Wilson, P Ervin Santana.

The Nationals lineup: CF Roger Beradina, RF Jayson Werth, 3B Ryan Zimmerman, LF Laynce Nix, 1B Michael Morse, 2B Danny Espinosa, C Wilson Ramos, DH Matt Stairs, SS Ian Desmond, P John Lannan.

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Angels Manager Mike Scioscia from his vantage point at Angel Stadium. Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images