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Thursday, March 22, 2012
Kendrys Morales set to return

By Mark Saxon

Kendrys Morales is scheduled to play against major-league competition today for the first time in nearly two years.

He is in the Angels' lineup against the Kansas City Royals at designated hitter, batting sixth.

The Angels have played in 322 games, including spring training, since Morales broke his left ankle leaping into home plate after a game-winning home run on May 29, 2010. His return is crucial to the Angels' hopes since they plan on having him bat cleanup behind Albert Pujols. It could give the Angels their deepest and most powerful lineup in the Mike Scioscia era.

Morales batted .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBIs in 2009.

On another front, don't count out Jerome Williams for the fifth starter job just yet. Williams said he threw off a mound Tuesday and is on target to make Monday's start. If he can pitch Monday, he would have enough time to join the Angels' rotation April 15, when they first need a fifth starter.

"Finally," Williams said. "It took me long enough."