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Little Amarista proves a quick study in left field

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Little Amarista proves a quick study in left field

In his search for answers to his offense's lack of production against right-handed pitching, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been looking high and low -- especially low.

Rookie infielder Alexi Amarista -- listed at 5-foot-8 but closer to 5-foot-5 in reality -- made a start in left field Friday night. It was Amarista's first action in the outfield since 2008. Amarista appeared in 41 games in the outfield during the first two seasons of his professional career, all in rookie ball or Class A.

"He has played center field as a youngster, actually played some center field his first year in pro ball," Scioscia said of Amarista. "He has not played a lot of corner positions since he switched to second base, but we worked him out there and he's athletic enough that he should be able to do it.

"I don't know if he's going to be jumping over walls to take home runs away, but he'll be all right."

Amarista did make the defensive play of the night -- a running catch of Shin-Soo Choo's deep fly over his head in the eighth inning of a game the Angels eventually won 2-1 in 11 innings.

But it was the switch-hitting Amarista's left-handed bat that Scioscia wanted in Friday's lineup. The Angels' offense has struggled against right-handers. So Scioscia started six left-handed batters against Indians right-hander Justin Masterson on Friday -- Bobby Abreu and five switch-hitters, Hank Conger, Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Maicer Izturis and Amarista.

The lineup produced 14 hits -- but only two runs.

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