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Angels closer Ernesto Frieri likely down; Bourjos returns to CF

June 29, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels closer Ernesto Frieri applauds the effort of right fielder Josh Hamilton after his catch at the wall for the first out of the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners last week.
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri applauds the effort of right fielder Josh… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

HOUSTON—Angels closer Ernesto Frieri will be down Saturday, and setup man Kevin Jepsen probably won’t be available for the game against the Houston Astros in Minute Maid Park.

Both right-handers pitched in the previous three games, in Detroit on Wednesday and Thursday and Houston on Friday, and Frieri needed 29 pitches to notch his 20th save in Friday night’s 4-2 win.

Frieri considers himself an Iron Man of sorts. In the past, even when he’s pitched four days in a row, he has said—often with gusto—that he would be available for a fifth straight game if needed.

But when asked before Saturday’s game if he could pitch, Frieri said: “No chance. I’m pretty tired. My arm is not that bad, but my body is sore.”

Manager Mike Scioscia said he would “try to stay away from some guys,” but he’ll still have plenty of bullpen arms—Michael Kohn, Garrett Richards, Scott Downs, Dane De La Rosa, Billy Buckner, Michael Roth—available. Who closes “will depend on matchups,” Scioscia said.

Peter Bourjos will make his first start in center field since he bruised his left thumb sliding into second base  Sunday against Pittsburgh. Bourjos appeared in each of the last four games as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner, and he hit into a fielder's choice after entering the game in the eighth inning Friday night.

Bourjos said the thumb is not 100% but is improving. Asked if he might have to baby it a little bit at the plate he said, "Maybe it will help. I won't over-swing."

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