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Taylor Ward returns, bumping Brandon Marsh from top of Angels’ lineup

Taylor Ward returns, bumping Brandon Marsh from top of Angels’ lineup

LOS ANGELES ― When Taylor Ward returned from the injured list Tuesday, the impact on the Angels’ lineup was predictable. Brandon Marsh was bumped from the leadoff spot he handled more than capably Saturday and Sunday, while Ward returned to the top of the batting order.

“Look back to April, a lot of the success we had stems from what Taylor did for us,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “I just think it’s a lift for the room. We’re back at full strength.”

Ward missed nine games with a mild right hamstring strain. He was hitting .333 with a .443 on-base percentage and .644 slugging percentage at the time of the injury. The Angels went 2-7 in his absence.

Marsh went 2 for 6 with three walks, a double, and three runs scored in two games against the Mets. He hit seventh Tuesday against the Dodgers, but Nevin said he considered keeping Marsh atop his lineup card.

Marsh had not drawn a walk in 10 games, a span of 36 plate appearances, before moving into the leadoff spot Saturday. The 24-year-old left fielder said he wasn’t trying to be more patient.

“I was just fouling some pitches off that I should have put in play and letting the bad ones go,” Marsh said. “I was definitely still trying to attack early, it just didn’t pan out that way.”

Sunday, Marsh swung at only one pitch out of the strike zone in four plate appearances, and singled against Taijuan Walker. Saturday, Ward swung and missed at four pitches out of the zone, but he also reached base twice via walk.

It didn’t hurt that he was batting in front of Mike Trout both games.

“I wasn’t trying to see nine or 10 pitches, then walk,” he said. “That’s just the way it worked out.”

COACHING SHUFFLE

Baserunning/outfield coach Damon Mashore was the Angels’ first-base coach Tuesday and will continue in that role the remainder of this season. He replaces Benji Gil, who will take over the job of positioning the Angels’ infielders.

Nevin said he wanted to take the infield-positioning duties off the plate of Mike Gallego, who became the team’s third base coach when Nevin succeeded Joe Maddon last Tuesday. Nevin said the idea had been percolating even before he recommended the change to general manager Perry Minasian on Monday.

“Benji’s done nothing wrong,” Nevin said. “I know the way it might look. I just think this works best for that room, to delegate certain roles to certain guys, to do more with their one job.”

WARREN, IN ONE PIECE

Austin Warren said he had never had a single black eye before he sustained two when a wayward baseball struck him in the face before a game in Boston on May 3. The pitcher said his mother, Alana Hix, flew to Boston from North Carolina to be with Warren in the hospital. She ended up spending the night in Warren’s hotel room.

“When I got hit … that was the first thing I thought: I don’t want it to be tweeted out, my mom to see it and freak out,” he said. “I said in a group message that I was hit pretty bad but everything’s going to be alright.”

Warren, whom the Angels activated from the injured list Sunday, sustained a nasal fracture that required surgery to repair. His rehab began slowly, then turned a corner when the Blue Jays were visiting May 26-29. Previously, he had difficulty running because of the resulting pressure in his head.

The right-hander was 2-0 with a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances before the injury.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Reid Detmers, 2-2, 3.83 ERA) at Dodgers (LHP Tyler Anderson, 7-0, 3.07 ERA), Wednesday, 7 p.m., Bally Sports West/SportsNet LA, 570-AM, 830-AM


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