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Angels' Maicer Izturis gets it done against Tigers' Justin Verlander

Infielder was batting .423 in 26 at-bats against the Detroit ace before Saturday's game between the clubs. Izturis says he just tries to keep his approach at the plate simple.

September 08, 2012|By Lance Pugmire

Maicer Izturis of the Angels tries to keep his hitting approach simple, a fact that has helped him solve Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

Izturis was given a start at third base Saturday because he had batted .423 in 26 at-bats against Verlander.

"I don't know why, I never try to do too much, just keep my bat location about the same and deal with the situations as they come," Izturis said of his success against Verlander.

A night after the Angels beat Detroit's Max Scherzer, the American League strikeouts leader, Izturis welcomed the Verlander challenge as the Angels look to return to the playoffs.

"We've played in the big games before, we feel great about our chances," Izturis said. "We play a game today, don't worry about the others. Take it step by step."

Weaver update

Angels ace Jered Weaver played catch from about 90 feet without discomfort, an encouraging sign for a team that hopes he can return to the starting rotation Wednesday after missing Friday's start because of biceps tendinitis.

"He felt very good, and that's very encouraging," said Manager Mike Scioscia, who said the right-hander could throw on the side again Sunday.

Scioscia said Saturday's throwing session was not enough to prompt a decision about Wednesday, adding " we want to get him off a mound" before final clearance. "It's by touch and feel and see where it goes."

The Angels are expected to choose between Jerome Williams and Barry Enright to start Tuesday's home game against Oakland.

Williams is 5-2 with a 2.84 earned-run average in Anaheim and Enright, acquired from Arizona on July 23, won his last three starts at triple-A Salt Lake.

In a pinch

Alberto Callaspo would prefer to start at third base. He does fine off the bench, however, leading the AL with six runs batted in as a pinch-hitter after Friday's ninth-inning, game-winning single.

"My thing is I'm always prepared, that's what happens in this game," Callaspo said.

Callaspo fought off a 1-and-2 pitch from Detroit reliever Octavio Dotel and slapped a hit between third base and shortstop. He's four for eight as a pinch-hitter.

"I do the same thing I do in my other at-bats: try to find a good pitch to hit," Callaspo said. "I was looking to hit a fastball. I hit it good.

"Maybe that'll keep us playing hard, and remind us to do the little things we can do to get where we want to be."

Speed to burn

Kendrys Morales hit his first triple since 2009 on Friday night, a line drive that pounded off the center field wall and forced Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson to track it down as Morales sprinted.

More than two years removed from a fractured ankle that scrapped 2011 and imperiled the start of this season, Morales said he relished the race that followed Friday's hit.

"Once I got to second base, I didn't feel any kind of pain at all," Morales said. "That's why I decided to go for three."

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