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Angels spring training report: Hunter, Kendrick return to lineup

March 12, 2010 |  9:36 am

Kendrick Fans in Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday will see a lineup very similar to what the Angels will field on opening day, with center fielder Torii Hunter, sidelined for a week because of a minor groin injury, and second baseman Howie Kendrick, out for three days because of a sore arm, returning to action against the Chicago White Sox.

Bobby Abreu, Maicer Izturis, Hideki Matsui, Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera are also in the lineup, but shortstop Erick Aybar is down for a couple of days because of a sore elbow, an injury that is not considered serious.

Left-hander Joe Saunders will start opposite White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, and four of the Angels' top relievers, Brian Fuentes, Scot Shields, Jason Bulger and Brian Stokes, are scheduled to pitch.

For Shields, it will be his first game action since last May 26, when the pain in his left knee became so unbearable that the right-hander decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair the patella tendon.  Shields threw a 20-pitch simulated game on Wednesday.

"You can simulate this stuff as much as you want -- he had a great workout down on Field 1 the other day," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's not going to match not only the intensity of a spring-training game, but taking it into a regular-season game.

"The intensity of the game situation, from having to hold runners to fielding your position, it's a different feel. We've gotten him far enough along, and now he's ready for this challenge."

Another group of Angels will travel to Goodyear, Ariz., for a split-squad game against the Cleveland Indians. The lineups for both games:


3B  Maicer Izturis

RF  Bobby Abreu

CF  Torii Hunter

DH  Hideki Matsui

1B  Kendry Morales

LF  Juan Rivera

2B  Howie Kendrick

C   Bobby Wilson

SS  Gary Patchett

P   Joe Saunders


RF  Reggie Willits

DH  Jeff Mathis

C   Mike Napoli

3B  Brandon Wood

1B  Freddy Sandoval

LF  Michael Ryan

CF  Peter Bourjos

2B  Ryan Mount

SS  Kevin Romine

P   Matt Palmer

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Howie Kendrick throws the ball during a spring training exercise on March 2. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press