Mike Scioscia calls a team meeting

With the Angels having lost 15 of the previous 24 games and sinking in the standings, manager Mike Scioscia got the team together for what he described as a "pep talk" before Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first pregame team meeting of the season other than routine get-togethers to discuss scouting reports.

Scioscia said it was about breaking through some of the frustration individual players have been feeling, and about playing loose. The Angels have particularly struggled with runners on base and in scoring position this season.

"You have to play free. You can't worry about mistakes," Scioscia said. "You have to think about making plays and I think that, particularly for our younger kids, we want them to continue with that philosophy so they can maximize their talent on the field."

* Top prospect Mike Trout missed his third straight game for Double-A Arkansas with a knee injury Monday, but the minor-league team's Twitter feed said, "Not a serious injury. Is expected to play Wednesday against NW Arkansas."

* Outfielder Vernon Wells is scheduled to play in his second rehab game with Single-A Inland Empire. Scioscia said he'll check with Wells after the game to decide if he'll be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game.

* Rays superstar Evan Longoria was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game due to a stomach ailment.

Here are the lineups for Monday's game against the Rays:

Tampa Bay

1. Johnny Damon DH

2. Ben Zobrist 2B

3. Matt Joyce RF

4. Casey Kotchman 1B

5. John Jaso C

6. Justin Ruggiano CF

7. Sam Fuld LF

8. Sean Rodriguez 3B

9. Reid Brignac SS


1. Maicer Izturis 2B

2. Erick Aybar SS

3. Bobby Abreu DH

4. Torii Hunter RF

5. Alberto Callaspo 3B

6. Howie Kendrick LF

7. Mark Trumbo 1B

8. Jeff Mathis C

9. Peter Bourjos CF