Joyce, Aybar given day off amid slumps

Navarro gets start in left field; Featherston at shortstop

Joyce, Aybar given day off amid slumps

PHOENIX -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia was planning on giving several players a day off on Thursday as a result of it being a day game after a night game, no matter how they performed Wednesday.

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Shortstop Erick Aybar and left fielder Matt Joyce were both out of the starting lineup on Thursday, perhaps also giving the duo a chance to regroup after struggling at the plate for the most of June.

It may have been more difficult for Scioscia to sit Joyce, who was 2-for-3 with a triple and reached base three times in Wednesday's game against the D-backs. But Joyce may still be able to benefit from a day of rest, as he entered Thursday batting .200 in June and .189 on the season.

"We definitely are balancing when a hitter is starting to swing the bat well and you also grind out some at-bats when they're doing poorly, which I think we've done with Matt," Scioscia said. "In the big picture, it's one day, Matt's still going to get his opportunity to contribute, but we've got some guys on our team who we feel very confident are going to contribute."

Scioscia mentioned one of those players is Efren Navarro, who got the start in left field on Thursday.

Taylor Featherston started at shortstop in favor of Aybar, who has batted .167 in 15 games in June, lowering his average from .271 to .246. He also entered Thursday mired in a 1-for-27 slump.

"I think he's put a little pressure on himself right now at this point because some hits aren't falling in," Scioscia said. "He's playing a lot, he just needs a bit of a break."

Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.