HOUSTON -- Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos took batting practice and swung in the cages before Friday's game, but manager Mike Scioscia said Bourjos remained "day to day" while nursing a sore left thumb.
The opener vs. the Astros marked Bourjos' fourth consecutive game out of the lineup, but he pinch-ran in the eighth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the Angels' 4-2 win.
Bourjos had expressed hope of returning full-time for the final game of the recently-finished Detroit series, but the swelling hadn't died down.
Bourjos gripped the bat and swung freely Friday for the first time since the injury, which he suffered on Sunday against Pittsburgh sliding into second base to break up a double play.
"We felt good enough to finally get him back on the field, warming up fully today," Scioscia said earlier Friday. "It's been slow for him. We're waiting to see what happens."
Bourjos showed off his black protective brace in the dugout before the game. The brace contoured softly around his thumb, which is still visibly bruised and appears slightly out of place on the hand.
J.B. Shuck got a fourth straight start at the top of the lineup with Bourjos on the bench, but Shuck said he wasn't happy about the increased playing time given the circumstances.
"You never want to see a guy hurt, especially a guy like Pete," Shuck said. "He's been swinging the bat really well. He's an outstanding defensive player and a guy who can help the team. We need him back."
Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.