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Angels pitchers get in the swing

6/6/2012

ANAHEIM -- If you look closely at the out-of-town scoreboard at Angel Stadium, you might notice a little white dot at the bottom, just above the Budweiser sign.

It's a baseball, and it was hit there by Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson in batting practice last week. That feat gained Wilson, who was an outfielder at Loyola Marymount, a measure of bragging rights among the pitchers, who have been taking batting practice in anticipation of upcoming series at Colorado and Dodger Stadium.

Overall, don't expect much from the No. 9 spot in the Angels' lineup starting Friday. Dan Haren, the best-hitting pitcher on the stuff -- who manager Mike Scioscia has already used as a pinch hitter this season -- said the skill tends to atrophy over time for American League pitchers.

Haren batted .364 with a home run in 57 plate appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 before he was traded to Anaheim. He's looking forward to taking some hacks Saturday, but he has low expectations.

"It's not like riding a bike," Haren said. "I was hitting all right out of college, then I went to Oakland for three years and it took me until the middle part of my second year at Arizona until I started getting good again. If we get a couple hits now, it's pretty much just running into something."

Here are lineups for Wednesday night's game against Seattle, with Jerome Williams opposing Hector Noesi:

Seattle

RF Ichiro Suzuki

2B Dustin Ackley

3B Kyle Seager

DH Jesus Montero

1B Justin Smoak

CF Michael Saunders

C Miguel Olivo

LF Mike Carp

SS Brendan Ryan

Angels

LF Mike Trout

3B Maicer Izturis

1B Albert Pujols

DH Kendrys Morales

RF Mark Trumbo

2B Howie Kendrick

SS Erick Aybar

C Hank Conger

CF Peter Bourjos