Angels have the luxury of resting Street

Angels have the luxury of resting Street

ARLINGTON -- It isn't very often that the closer of a playoff-bound team can take a breather in early September, but the Angels have been able to grant that to Huston Street, who has been nursing some tightness around his right hamstring for the last five days.

Street, 31, tweaked the hamstring while covering first base on Saturday's game-ending double play -- while appearing in his third game in a row -- and manager Mike Scioscia has stayed away from him since.

The Angels' standing (9 1/2 games up in the American League West thanks to 13 wins in their last 15 games) has allowed Scioscia to play it safe with Street, as has the fact that his team has outscored its opponents by 32 runs in the last four games.

"When you score runs like they have in the last four games, it makes your entire team better, because it makes everyone fresh and gets some guys hot," Street said prior to Thursday's game at Globe Life Park. "Absolutely, we appreciate it. That's their talent level, too. That's why we've won 90 games already."

Scioscia said that he'd "probably" give Street another day of rest and hold him out of the series finale against the Rangers; Street said the Angels are "just being cautious."

"I don't want to play the day-to-day game," Street said. "When I pitch, I'll pitch. We're just being smart and cautious; nothing really to say other than that. I'm not going to guess when I'll pitch."

Following are some updates on other ailing Angels as the regular-season schedule whittles to 17 games:

Josh Hamilton: Hamilton missed his seventh straight game with stiffness around his right shoulder, and Scioscia said he is "not going to really test it for a couple days." The 33-year-old outfielder could get an MRI when the team returns to Southern California on Friday but probably won't play against the Astros this weekend.

Asked if he's concerned that Hamilton won't be back before the regular season ends, Scioscia said, "From talking to doctors and what he's dealing with, it seems like he should be able to get over it in relatively short order. But our concern was the big step he made backward [on Tuesday], when we felt like he was making progress."

Joe Thatcher: The lefty specialist, who has been out since Aug. 3 with a sprained left ankle, threw a light bullpen session at Globe Life Park on Thursday and is lined up to pitch in a simulated game in Anaheim on Friday or Saturday. Scioscia is hopeful that will be Thatcher's final step before being activated off the disabled list.

C.J. Cron: Cron had a sore wrist after Monday's makeup game in Cleveland and wasn't available the last couple of days. Scioscia said the right-handed power hitter is available now, which is good timing considering the Angels face two lefty starters over the next three games.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.