Hamilton to be in Angels' Game 3 lineup

Hamilton to be in Angels' Game 3 lineup

KANSAS CITY -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia isn't anticipating any changes to his lineup for Game 3 of the American League Division Series, and that means Josh Hamilton will start against Royals ace James Shields.

Hamilton, who played in only one of the Angels' last 23 regular-season games due to ailments in his right shoulder and right side, went 0-for-9 with two strikeouts in the first two games and constantly looked out of rhythm.

"In the batter's box he's searching for some things, but he's playing great outfield for us," Scioscia said shortly after the team arrived in Kansas City on Saturday night. "He made some terrific catches out there, and that's as big as anything if you're playing in our ballpark or you're coming to this ballpark. It's no secret that Josh is searching for some things in the batter's box. He's the type of guy you just never know. When he gets it, he gets it for a long time, and it's something our offense needs."

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

The Angels led the Majors in runs during the regular season but mustered only three runs on 10 hits in back-to-back home losses to the Royals on Thursday and Friday.

Scioscia said "there might be some subtleties in the batting order, but most likely there won't be." That means Hamilton will bat seventh and the right-handed-hitting C.J. Cron will bat eighth, while serving as the designated hitter. Hamilton is 4-for-30 with two homers and 12 strikeouts in his career against Shields, while Howie Kendrick -- who took Hamilton's place in the cleanup spot -- is 14-for-26.

Below are some other notes heading into Game 3 …

Matt Shoemaker felt "great" coming out of Friday's start, which saw him give up one unearned run in six innings in his return from a mild oblique strain, Scioscia said. The 28-year-old right-hander is good to go for Game 5, if the Angels can stretch the series that far.

• Even though the Angels face elimination, Scioscia doesn't anticipate using ace Jered Weaver out of the bullpen in Game 3. Weaver is lined up to pitch on short rest in Game 4. As Scioscia said, "You still have to piece together three wins, and the one thing we have on our team right now is a deep bullpen."

Collin Cowgill made a crucial out in the eighth inning on Friday, coming in as a pinch-runner and getting thrown out at third by Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson. But the speedy outfielder said he'd make the same attempt "100 times out of 100." "I know how hard that play is," Cowgill said. "The guy made a great throw."

• Angels closer Huston Street pitched two scoreless innings on Friday, marking the first time he's recorded more than three outs all season and the first time since April 8, 2011, that he completed two full innings. Street said he "felt good coming out of it," and would do it again in a heartbeat. "I've been waiting five years to get back [to the playoffs]," Street said. "You don't want to waste a moment."

• Scioscia decided against removing catcher Chris Iannetta from a tie game in the eighth inning on Thursday and Friday, opting to keep him in because of the Royals' running game. Scioscia, who has Hank Conger as a backup, believes "Chris has a little better arm strength and he's got more time and has been through a lot more."

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.