Guerrero, Matthews to return soon

Guerrero, Matthews to return soon

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It appears Dodgers right-hander Derek Lowe won't have to worry about Vladimir Guerrero when the Angels briefly resume their Los Angeles turf rivalry with the Dodgers on Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Guerrero aggravated his right knee Thursday against the Giants and is expected to remain sidelined for another day after missing Friday night's game against the Rangers. Another torrid Angels hitter, Gary Matthews Jr., should be back in the lineup Saturday after sitting it out against his former team, the Rangers.

Matthews left Thursday's game with a bruised left gluteus, the result of a slide into home plate as he was scoring from first on a Guerrero double in the first inning.

Manager Mike Scioscia said both players had improved Friday but there was no need to rush them back.

"Gary's fine," Scioscia said. "He could have played [Friday night]. He'll play [Saturday]. Vladdy feels much better. Most likely he'll take it easy [Saturday] and be ready to play Sunday."

Guerrero, the Angels' All-Star right fielder and third-leading vote-getter in the 2007 American League MVP balloting, unloaded a grand slam in Phoenix on Wednesday against the A's Keith Foulke after getting knocked down on a high, hard one that caused the right knee to buckle. He is batting .293 this spring with three homers and a club-high 14 RBIs.

Matthews has a streak of seven consecutive hits and eight in nine at-bats. The only time he was retired was when Brewers center fielder Tony Gwynn took an extra-base hit away at the wall in right-center. Matthews is batting .442 with a team-high 19 hits and 12 runs scored.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.