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Rivera Takes a Seat so Molina Can Rest

October 13, 2005|Mike DiGiovanna

Juan Rivera was the Angels' most consistent hitter in the final two months of the season, batting .308 (49 for 159) with five homers and 25 runs batted in from Aug. 1 to the end of the season, and he batted .353 (six for 17) with one homer in the division series against New York.

But with catcher Bengie Molina needing a break and also swinging a hot bat, Scioscia started Jose Molina behind the plate and Bengie at designated hitter in Game 2 Wednesday night.

With Yadier Molina catching for St. Louis in the National League championship series, it marked the first time three bothers have started a playoff game on the same day. But it also left the bat of Rivera, who has two hits in four career at-bats against White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, on the bench.

"Juan has been swinging the bat well the last month," Scioscia said. "But Jose has been swinging well against left-handers, the defensive presence is the same, and it's a chance to give Bengie time to catch his breath."

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