Cory Rasmus to start Saturday …

Cory RasmusAngels reliever Cory Rasmus will make a second straight start in place of Garrett Richards on Saturday, manager Mike Scioscia announced prior to Thursday’s series opener from Target Field.

Rasmus, 26, threw three scoreless innings against the A’s last Saturday, a night that saw the Angels utilize eight relievers to toss a nine-inning shutout. Scioscia is hopefully that Rasmus can complete four innings, but probably won’t run his pitch count up much higher than the 49 he threw against Oakland.

“If he can get into the fourth, great,” Scioscia said. “If he can get into the fifth, better yet. We’ll just see how he can hold up in his start.”

Rasmus has a 2.48 ERA in 25 appearances this season, with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, a walk rate of 2.7 and a 1.10 WHIP in 40 innings. The Angels currently have a 12-man bullpen (including Rasmus), and can get plenty of length out of Wade LeBlanc and Michael Roth if needed.

Richards’ spot will come up at least four more times this season.

“It’s certainly a match-up game,” Scioscia said. “When we get to a certain point in the game, we’ll probably have a couple lefties we can look at and we’ll certainly have some guys in the right side who are throwing the ball well. So I think it’s where you get in the game and where the situation is and how you move forward with it. Hopefully Cory will get us on the right foot like he did in Oakland.”

Some other notes from Thursday …

  • David Freese was back in the lineup, after sitting Tuesday and going 0-for-3 on Wednesday, making him hitless in his last 20 at-bats. If Freese doesn’t pick it up, he could continue to lose playing time to Gordon Beckham. “There’s still that confidence in David Freese,” Scioscia said. “This guy’s an RBI machine when he gets going, and he’s a good hitter. Better hitter than I think he’s shown on a consistent basis this year.”
  • Joe Thatcher threw a simulated game in the indoor batting cage of Target Field on Thursday, throwing about 20 pitches against hitters. His ankle “felt fine,” but he also realizes that there will be some pain tolerance involved the rest of the year. Thatcher will take some PFP on Friday, then hopes to venture out on a rehab assignment next week (the Angels’ Class A and Double-A affiliates are in the playoffs).

Lineups …

Angels (83-55)

Kole Calhoun, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, DH
Josh Hamilton, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
David Freese, 3B
Efren Navarro, 1B
Hank Conger, C

SP: LH Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.28 ERA)

Twins (61-78)

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Kennys Vargas, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Aaron Hicks, RF
Jordan Schafer, LF

SP: RH Kyle Gibson (11-10, 4.23 ERA)

Alden

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