Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/21/12

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29: Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Anaheim Angels looks on during batting practice before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 29, 2002 at Edison Field in Anaheim, California. The Angels shutout the Dodgers 7-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Angels manager Mike Scioscia has popped the "closer bubble" again. Scioscia uses that phrase to refer to a reliever whose job it is to pitch in the ninth inning, and only the ninth inning -- the final link in the bullpen chain to close out games. He moved RHP Jordan Walden out of that role early this season as Walden struggled to find consistency (particularly with his secondary pitches). LHP Scott Downs replaced him in the closer role but that now appears to be a very fuzzy designation. "If we get to the ninth inning, there is no doubt Scott is our primary guy," Scioscia said. But Scioscia used Downs in the eighth inning against the Padres Friday and has twice had RHP Ernesto Frieri warming up for ninth-inning save situations over the past 10 days (in both cases, the Angels offense scored to expand the lead and take away the save situation). Walden has pitched well recently and Scioscia said "we're going to mix and match a little bit" to get the final six or nine outs in a game with Downs, Frieri and Walden available at any point in the final three innings based on "a matchup situation." "You do what you have to do," Scioscia said. "You have to work with the pieces you have. "There is no doubt the optimum is to have one guy there and have guys in front of him as setup guys. I don't know if we're quite there yet. But there is no doubt the bullpen we have now is light years ahead of the bullpen we started the season with." NOTES, QUOTES Wells sprains thumb on steal --OF Vernon Wells left Sunday's game in San Diego in the third inning after spraining his right thumb. Wells sustained the injury on a stolen base in the second inning. He popped out of his slide into the base with all of his weight on his right hand and fell to the ground in obvious discomfort. --OF Ryan Langerhans also left Sunday's game in the 11th inning with a separated shoulder. Langerhans was injured when he crashed into the left field wall while pursuing John Baker's pinch-hit double. --With Wells and Langerhans out with injuries and expected to go on the disabled list, the Angels were forced to shuffle around defensively in extra innings Sunday. 1B Albert Pujols made his first appearance at third base, playing there for the final two innings. 2B Howie Kendrick moved to left field, his first appearance in the outfield this season, and made a costly error that allowed the winning run to score in the bottom of the 13th. --OF Torii Hunter could rejoin the Angels by the end of their current road trip which runs through May 27 in Seattle, according to Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Hunter has been on the restricted list since May 14. He left the team in order to be with his family in the Dallas area where one of his teenaged sons has been charged in a sexual-assault investigation involving several high school students. --OF Mike Trout was 3 for 4 with a home run and two walks in Sunday's 13-inning loss. Trout was hitless in his first seven at-bats after being promoted from Class AAA Salt Lake last month. Since then, Trout is batting .391 (27 for 69) in 17 games. He has seven multi-hit games and is one of just three rookies to have a three-hit game this season. He has four of them, three in the past week. BY THE NUMBERS: 21 -- Players used by the Angels in their 13-inning loss Sunday in San Diego (including RHP Dan Haren who was the first Angels pitcher to appear as a pinch-hitter since Omar Olivares on June 10, 1998). The club record is 25 players used on Sept. 10, 1986 at Cleveland in a 14-inning game. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was just trying to keep the same thing going I had in Salt Lake." -- Rookie OF Mike Trout on his approach since being promoted from Class AAA.
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