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Sunday, August 12, 2012
Wells is finally getting comfortable

By Arash Markazi

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When Vernon Wells arrived in the Angels’ clubhouse Sunday morning, he found himself back in the starting lineup for the second time in as many days.

His appearance Saturday night was supposed to be for just one game but he essentially forced Angels manager Mike Scioscia to find a spot for him again Sunday.

Wells was 0-for-16 with three strikeouts in his first six games back from the disabled list but went 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs and a home run on Saturday. He hit his first home run since May 16 in the eighth inning. It was also Wells’ first three-hit game since July 22 of last season.

“That was the most comfortable we’ve seen him in the box since he put on an Angels uniform,” Scioscia said. “Hopefully it is something he can build on. If a guy is performing, you’re going to play more. Hopefully Vernon can carry it over.”

Wells, who received a back-loaded seven-year, $126 million contract from the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2006 season, hasn’t been a factor with the emergence on Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout this season. He batted .218 last season with 25 home runs and 66 RBI. This season, he is batting .234 with 7 home runs and 15 RBI.

Scioscia is still unsure why a player as talented as Wells was in Toronto has been unable to have any kind of sustained success with the Angels.

Wells, who missed 55 games because of a right thumb injury before being instated on July 27, found himself in the lineup on Saturday as Trumbo took the day off and tried to break out of the 8-for-50 slump he is in. On Sunday he replaced Kendry Morales. As long as he keep hitting, Scioscia said he will find a way for him to play.

“Last night Vernon had it and hopefully it’s something he can bottle,” Scioscia said. “He’s definitely underperformed and it’s good to see him contribute.”

Here are lineups for Sunday:

Dustin Ackley 2B
Michael Saunders CF
Kyle Seager 3B
John Jaso DH
Jesus Montero C
Mike Carp 1B
Eric Thames RF
Trayvon Robinson LF
Brendan Ryan SS

Mike Trout CF
Torii Hunter RF
Albert Pujols DH
Mark Trumbo 1B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Vernon Wells LF
Maicer Izturis 3B
Bobby Wilson C