Morales to bat cleanup, Trumbo at 5 hole

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
5:53
PM PT
In an effort to juice his sputtering squad (3-7 over their last 10 games and eight games behind the AL West leading Rangers), manager Mike Scioscia made a switch in the batting order. Kendrys Morales will hit fourth behind Albert Pujols, while Mark Trumbo will move down a slot to the fifth spot. The move was meant to capitalize on Morales’ recent surge at the plate and help Trumbo rediscover his swing.

“I think that Kendrys has obviously found a comfort zone again,” said Scioscia before Monday’s game against the Indians. “He’s swinging well. And I think Mark, just hopefully get him back into a little comfort area. Just trying to make that little flip-flop. Balance-wise, it’s something we hope we’re gonna be able to maintain for the whole season, because it’s better balance.

“But about a month ago, we switched. Right now, the way Kendrys is swinging and the way Mark is trying to find it, it make sense trying to flip-flop.”

Morales is hitting .359 with 14 hits and four home runs in 39 at-bats this month. On the season, he’s hitting .294, with 67 hits, nine home runs and 36 RBI in 228 at-bats while hitting cleanup. Conversely, Trumbo is hitting just .171 in August. Batting fourth he’s hitting .247, as compared to .314 in the five hole.

Scioscia was asked if Trumbo placed too much pressure on himself to produce as a cleanup hitter.

“I think Mark’s always very focused,” said the manager. “He has a sense of urgency when it comes to production. Maybe he was taking too much on. I don’t know if that’s the whole story. At times, you’re going to go throw the ebbs and flows of the season. You’re gonna maybe have your ups and downs. Right now, he’s in a little bit of a downturn.

“At times, he’s had some tremendous games in the four hole. It’s not like it’s been all barren for him.”

Even with those good outings in mind, the Angels don’t have enough time anymore to wait for Trumbo to work through the issues while batting cleanup.

Tonight’s lineups

Indians
Jason Donald - 3B
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Carlos Santana - DH
Michael Brantley - CF
Shelley Duncan - LF
Brent Lillibridge - 3B
Casey Kotchman - 1B
Lou Marson - C

Pitching: Justin Masterson (RHP)

Angels
Mike Trout - CF
Torii Hunter - RF
Albert Pujols - 1B
Kendrys Morales - DH
Mark Trumbo - LF
Alberto Callaspo - 3B
Howie Kendrick - 2B
Erick Eybar - SS
Chris Ianetta - C

Pitching: C.J. Wilson (LHP)

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.62 114 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .299
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 74
OPSM. Trout .970
ERAG. Richards 2.74
SOG. Richards 143