KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Angels and Kansas City Royals wasted no time rescheduling Monday night's rainout in Kauffman Stadium; the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader today, a scheduling decision that pleased Manager Mike Scioscia.
The Angels and Royals have a mutual day off Sept. 3, the day before the teams begin a four-game series in Kansas City.
But if the game had been rescheduled for the Angels' second Kansas City visit in September, the Angels, because of two other scheduled makeup games, would play 51 games in the last 52 days of the regular season.
"I'm glad there is no doubleheader in September, because we already have a four-game series [against the Royals], and our end of August and September is packed," Scioscia said.
"We already have two makeup games, against Oakland [on Aug. 27] and New York [on Sept. 14]. I'd rather get this game in now, because if you schedule it for September and you have more weather problems, you could have two or three doubleheaders."
Sean O'Sullivan was scheduled to start Monday night, but Scioscia moved the rookie right-hander to the second game of today's doubleheader, which will start about 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.
Ervin Santana, who was scheduled to start tonight, will start the first game against right-hander Sidney Ponson. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT.
Scioscia switched the order of the rotation so Santana, who has been on the disabled list because of elbow problems twice this season, "will know exactly what his [pregame] routine will be," he said.
The doubleheader will force the Angels to find a sixth starter for Saturday's game against Minnesota, because Scioscia will not use either Santana or O'Sullivan on three days of rest. Long relievers Matt Palmer and Shane Loux will be candidates, or the Angels could call up a pitcher from triple-A Salt Lake.
Halladay still on radar
Angels General Manager Tony Reagins said that he "hasn't ruled out anything" on the trade front, including a deal for the most coveted player on the block, Toronto ace Roy Halladay, who is 11-3 with a 2.73 earned-run average.
But the Angels' chances of acquiring Halladay are very slim because they don't appear to have enough of the premium prospects the Blue Jays are looking for, and they appear reluctant to part with too many of the prospects they do have.
Another hurdle to a potential deal: According to several sources and at least one newspaper report, Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi will not allow teams a window to negotiate an extension with Halladay if a deal is struck.
The 32-year-old right-hander is signed through 2010 -- he is being paid $14.25 million this season and is due to receive $15.75 million next season -- but teams that are willing to give up multiple prospects and perhaps several young major league players for Halladay would prefer to secure him beyond 2010.
The Angels are also looking for late-inning relief help, and among the pitchers they have targeted are Toronto's Scott Downs and Brandon League, Baltimore's George Sherrill, Arizona's Chad Qualls and Cleveland's Rafael Betancourt.
"There are conversations with other GMs, but nothing is close," Reagins said. "There is nothing at this stage that makes sense for the club."
Torii Hunter, on the disabled list since July 8 because of a strained muscle in his right side, has been doing some light treadmill work and agility drills and said he is "making progress, big time. It's still sore, but it's way better."
Hunter is not expected back until around Aug. 1. Easing his pain and his frustration about being sidelined is the fact that the Angels have won six of the eight games they have played in his absence.
"It would hurt a lot more if we were losing," Hunter said.
Vladimir Guerrero, on the DL since July 8 because of a strained right hamstring and upper calf, has been riding an exercise bike and lifting weights but has not resumed any baseball activities. The timetable for his return is similar to Hunter's.
Scioscia said right-hander Kelvim Escobar has made "no progress" in his efforts to recover from the shoulder irritation that has sidelined him since he made his one and only start this season, against Detroit on June 6.
The Angels were hoping Escobar, who sat out the 2008 season because of shoulder surgery, would be able to bolster the bullpen in the second half, but he has not picked up a baseball in weeks.
Juan Rivera's right hamstring was too tight for him to play Monday night, and the left fielder said it's doubtful he will be able to play until Wednesday night, at the earliest. Rivera also sat out Sunday's series finale in Oakland.
AT KANSAS CITY
Where: Kauffman Stadium.
When: 2 p.m. PDT.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830, 980, 1330.
Pitchers: Game 1 -- Ervin Santana vs. Sidney Ponson; Game 2 -- Sean O'Sullivan vs. Bruce Chen.
Update: Santana took what the Angels hope will be a huge step in his recovery from elbow problems that have forced him to the disabled list twice this season, giving up one run and three hits in eight innings of Thursday night's 6-2 win at Oakland. Santana had given up nine earned runs and 15 hits in his two previous games, losses to Baltimore and Texas. O'Sullivan will make his first start for the Angels since July 4, when he gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings against Baltimore. Ponson was activated from the DL after sitting out six weeks because of an elbow strain. Chen retired the three batters he faced in the ninth inning Saturday against Tampa Bay, his first relief appearance since April 20, 2007.
-- Mike DiGiovanna