ANAHEIM -- Peter Bourjos lost rookie status but opened eyes wide with his remarkable defense in his two months with the Angels last season, turning the sensational into routine while throwing out 10 runners on the basepaths.
They aren't running on the Angels' young center fielder now, having learned the dangers he poses with his ability to close on balls and throw strikes. But he's still running down balls in gaps and crashing into walls as a regular on the highlight-reel shows, and his manager, Mike Scioscia, senses that the voters on the Gold Glove panel -- managers and coaches across the American League -- are keenly aware of the scope of Bourjos' defensive talents.
"I've talked to every coach and manager," Scioscia said, "and there have been enough of them who marvel at what Peter can do. No doubt he's a Gold Glove candidate.
"He gets to balls quick and his arm is strong and accurate. You'll see some teams try to run on him in certain situations. He's made some terrific throws."
Bourjos has three assists, five fewer than nine time Gold Glover Torii Hunter in right field. One of Bourjos' best throws -- a one-hop strike to catcher Jeff Mathis -- could have ended the series finale in the Angels' favor last Sunday at Dodger Stadium. But Dee Gordon was ruled to have scored, contrary to what replays appeared to show, and the Dodgers went on to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.
"That was a great throw by Peter and a great play by Jeff," said Scioscia, who was matter-of-fact after the game that the call was missed.
Hunter listed as day to day with hand contusion
ANAHEIM -- Angels right fielder Torii Hunter is day to day after leaving Friday's game against the Dodgers with a left hand contusion.
He underwent X-rays and a CT scan after being struck by a pitch from Hiroki Kuroda, but results were negative. The 35-year-old veteran, who is tied with Peter Bourjos for the team lead in games this season (80), wasn't in Saturday's starting lineup. Manager Mike Scioscia said Hunter would be available as a defensive substitution.
Still, the nine-time Gold Glover is currently being held from participating in any baseball activity and said he has "no idea yet" as to a possible full-time return. The negative results of his tests were a relief for Scioscia and Hunter, both of whom initially thought it may be more serious.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
"I thought it was broke," Hunter said of the first few moments after Kuroda's 91 mph two-seamer made contact with his hand. "I had no feeling in it."
He successfully lobbied to remain in the game but said it "didn't feel right" when he swung a bat in the dugout after playing a half-inning of defense. That led to his departure.
The normally steadfast Hunter has run into a string of bad luck with injuries. He had just returned from a bruised rib that caused him to sit out last weekend's installment of the Freeway Series at Chavez Ravine.
"I guess it's part of baseball. Every game I probably miss is going to be against the Dodgers," he said with disappointment in his voice. "How about that?"
Vernon Wells was slotted into Hunter's spot in right Saturday, while Howard Kendrick shifted from second base to assume Wells' spot in left field. Do-it-all defender Maicer Izturis filled in for Kendrick.
Unheralded Downs flaunts All-Star numbers
ANAHEIM -- Setup relievers are the offensive linemen of baseball, flying under the radar, but few, if any, lefties in the American League stack up with Scott Downs' performance in his debut season with the Angels.
Along with starters Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, versatile Howard Kendrick and closer Jordan Walden, Downs is a strong candidate to make the AL All-Star team when the names are revealed on Sunday.
Despite two trips to the disabled list, with a fractured toe and gastrointestinal virus, Downs has been lights-out in 31 appearances. He's 5-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 27 1/3 innings. He has allowed 18 hits and six walks while striking out 17 hitters.
"I don't know of any relievers having better years than him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's got to get some [All-Star] consideration."
Downs had two seasons in Toronto similar to this -- 2007 and '08 -- but has not made an All-Star team. The only southpaw relievers having seasons comparable to Downs statistically are Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez of the Indians.
Progress from back strain slow for Rodney
ANAHEIM -- Fernando Rodney isn't progressing as well from injury as the Angels hoped.
The right-handed reliever -- placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 13 with a strained upper back -- was scheduled on Friday to throw his second bullpen since suffering the injury but wasn't able to.
"He's still having some symptoms, even though they're minor from where they might have been 10 days ago," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But his progress has been slow."
Rodney, who started the season as the Halos' closer before rookie Jordan Walden took over, hasn't appeared in a game since June 8 against Tampa Bay. He's recorded a 4.09 ERA in 22 innings.
Halos hits king Anderson throws first pitch
ANAHEIM -- The best hitter in Angel Stadium on Saturday may not even be in uniform.
Garret Anderson, the Angels' all-time leader in hits, runs, RBIs and games, was on hand to throw out the honorary first pitch before the Halos took on the Dodgers.
Anderson played 17 big league seasons, 15 of which were for the Angels (1994-08). He helped his club to five postseason appearances, including the 2002 season in which the Angels won the World Series and he led the Majors in doubles for the first of two straight years.
Many things made Anderson one of the best hitters of his generation, said manager Mike Scioscia.
"First of all, talent," Scioscia said. "He was blessed with a great swing, strong hands, great hand-eye coordination, and the ability to really slow the game down in the batter's box."
Anderson retired with 2,529 hits, 522 doubles, 287 home runs, 1,365 RBIs, and three All-Star Game appearances.
"There's gotta be borderline Hall of Fame consideration for as many hits as he had and how he was really one of the top run producers in baseball for a long time," Scioscia said.
Angels first-round Draft pick C.J. Cron was 1-for-2 with a two-run single in his professional debut Friday night for the Pioneer League's Orem Owlz. The first baseman out of Utah was slotted in the designated hitter spot, as his first career hit and pair of RBIs helped the Owlz claim a 6-4 win over the Ogden Raptors.
Cron, who walked in his other two plate appearances, connected for that hit with two outs in the fifth inning.
"He's got the aptitude," Orem manager Tom Kotchman said. "He got the big two RBIs to help us win the game."