Angels’ Mike Trout starts at DH again due to sprained index finger

Playing in his 1,000th career game, Mike Trout served as the Los Angeles Angels’ designated hitter Thursday, which didn’t seem to sit well with the superstar center fielder.

Obviously I want to be out in center, Trout said, but it is what it is.

Trout has a sprained right index finger that is affecting his ability to throw, the Angels announced, adding that he will be re-evaluated in a few days to assess when he can return to center field, where he is playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

The two-time MVP leads the majors in OPS (1.155), total bases (177), home runs (23), runs (62) and walks (67) and has been worth 6.3 FanGraphs WAR, on pace to shatter the single-season record. Trout drew three walks (one intentional) in an 8-5 win on Thursday and now has reached base in 31 of 42 plate appearances over the past nine games.

This is not an easy game, and this guy makes it look easier and easier every year, Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun said earlier this week. It’s a special talent that we’re not going to see too many times, so enjoy it now.

The Yankees, meanwhile, face Red Sox lefties Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale and David Price in their weekend series following their visit to Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, making Brett Gardner, a .235/.304/.235 hitter against left-handers this season, a weaker play in weekly formats due to the possible loss of playing time.

For those seeking righty/lefty weekly matchups candidates, consider: Nick Ahmed (available in nearly 95 percent of ESPN leagues) and Ketel Marte (available in roughly two-thirds of leagues), whose Diamondbacks face three left-handed starters, are .286/.337/.558 and .299/.352/.515 hitters against lefties this season.

It was a twist from last weekend in Seattle, when LeBlanc retired 22 batters in a row at one point and outdueled Wright in a 1-0 game. He pitched a great game against us last time, Martinez said of the soft-tossing Seattle lefty. It was one of those things where I think we had a little chip on our shoulder coming into today. We were like ‘Let’s go, let’s get this guy.’ Maybe we were a little more focused. We got him up against the ropes right away and didn’t let him get comfortable.

Still, the Mariners battled back. Nelson Cruz hit his second three-run homer off Wright and the Mariners would take a 10-5 lead. The Mariners were just swept in three games at Yankee Stadium at the start of their East Coast road trip and one of those losses came Wednesday when they blew a 5-0 lead. Entering Friday’s action, teams were 409-19 this season when leading by five-plus runs at one point. The Mariners blew their second five-run lead in three days Friday.

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