ARLINGTON -- Angels designated hitter Kendrys Morales was out of the lineup against Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish on Friday, due to tightness in his left Achilles tendon that he doesn't expect to keep him out much longer.
Morales had been playing with pain in the area -- which falls dangerously close to the left ankle that was operated on twice and cost him almost two full seasons -- for three to four days. On Friday morning, he called Dr. Thomas Clanton, who performed his second ankle surgery in Vail, Colo., then the Angels decided to keep him off it so it doesn't become more serious.
"[Clanton] told me that's normal for that to bother me," Morales said in Spanish, "and that I needed to take a day or two off to rest since I had gone so long without playing regularly -- almost two years -- and that there's no real risk if it's the Achilles. He said it's normal. The tendon is just tight.
"I'm feeling better already. I told [Scioscia] if he needed me to hit later in the game today, I should be ready."
But Morales' ailment means the Angels would be without their cleanup hitter -- and, considering his .315 batting average and .768 OPS, one of their few productive hitters -- for at least the opener of a big series against their division rivals.
Friday marked just the second day off Morales has received against a right-hander -- also the Yankees' Ivan Nova on April 15 -- with Mark Trumbo getting the nod at designated hitter, instead.
Morales hasn't received a cortisone shot. For now, he's taking anti-inflammatory pills, and if that doesn't work, they'll start giving him shots to loosen up the tendon. The 28-year-old switch-hitter said his latest lower-leg pain isn't related to the ankle that was operated on twice. But for a guy who lost that much time due to procedures on an area which falls that close, anything like this is a red flag.
And that's why Morales decided to be cautious.
"Today I just decided to take the day off to see if it goes away," Morales said. "I was playing with a little bit of pain, but it's better to lose one or two days than to lose the whole season."
Making consecutive starts, C.J. starts Saturday
ARLINGTON -- Friday night's 1-hour, 56-minute rain delay in the first inning halted C.J. Wilson's first meeting against his former team and his return to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. But after being charged with four earned runs and suffering the loss in a 10-3 defeat, the former Rangers ace will start for the Angels again on Saturday afternoon.
When he does, Wilson will become the first pitcher to start consecutive games since former Rangers righty Aaron Myette, who was ejected after four pitches on Sept. 3, 2002, then started the following day.
"When you start getting even 45 minutes to an hour, it's a possibility [to come back], but when you get to a 2-hour delay, it's a lot you're asking a pitcher to do," manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson, who threw 22 pitches. "He didn't throw that much to where the bounceback tomorrow shouldn't be really routine for him. He always bounces back well from his outings, anyway, so we'd rather start him fresh tomorrow."
After the delay, Scioscia instead went with scheduled Saturday starter Jerome Williams, who helped yield a six-run first inning and was charged with six earned runs on 11 hits in a 6 2/3-inning outing. The Rangers went a different direction, keeping Yu Darvish, who got the win after giving up three runs on three hits, three walks and striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.
That had something to do with the circumstances coming in.
The Angels were off Thursday, which allowed Williams to go on normal rest. The Rangers played a doubleheader on Thursday and were already backed up with their pitching staff.
"We kept him warm and we kept him throwing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He wanted to pitch and we kept him throwing. He said he showed up to pitch. He didn't show up to throw one inning and call it quits."
Scioscia took no public exception to the decision to start the game on time instead of waiting for the storm to pass through first, saying: "We knew going into the game that there was a possibility of a little weather coming, but nobody has a crystal ball."
Scioscia's rotation will stay the same after Saturday, with Jered Weaver pitching the series finale Sunday and Dan Haren -- who was nursing tightness in his lower back but successfully got through a bullpen session Friday -- going Monday against the Athletics.
Bourjos not rattled as trade rumors swirl
ARLINGTON -- Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos is almost numb to it now -- his name being linked to trade rumors, with the Nationals being mentioned as an interested suitor.
A couple of Internet sites indicated that again Thursday, with FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi saying the two sides have had preliminary discussions about Bourjos, who has now only started twice in the last 12 games.
Bourjos, 25, was recently getting text messages from friends asking if he was getting dealt. They tend to wonder that a lot.
"If it happens, it happens, I can't control that," Bourjos said Friday. "Where there's smoke, there's fire, isn't there? That's the way I look at things nowadays. What it'll be, will be."
Indications from within the organization, however, are that the Angels don't plan on sending Bourjos anywhere just yet, even though he has hardly played since the promotion of prospect outfielder Mike Trout.
A source told MLB.com the club plans on keeping the speedster on board, and that a Bourjos-to-Nats trade is as unlikely now as it was in the offseason -- when reports suggested the Angels would ship him to Washington, D.C., for starter John Lannan.
The Angels' Jerome Williams threw behind Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning on Friday night, causing a warning from home-plate umpire Bob Davidson. Williams insisted he wasn't trying to hit Kinsler or send a message, saying: "It just got away from me. ... I wasn't trying to hit him. I just wanted to establish trying to get the fastballs in because I was going away from my strengths, and I was going away to hitters. I just wanted to try to throw something in."
Veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins was back in the Angels' clubhouse on Friday, nursing a splint on the broken right pinkie that currently has him on the disabled list. Hawkins, who hurt the pinkie while making the last out on May 6, doesn't expect to return when eligible, but he is confident his recovery won't take as long as the estimated six to eight weeks.
What can he do in the meantime?
"Run, do shoulder exercises, that's it," the 39-year-old said. "[I'm] going crazy, watching baseball on TV and I can't pitch because of my pinkie. That [stinks]. Believe me. Not my shoulder, not my elbow, my pinkie. But, you don't know how much you need it until it's broken."
The Angels recently released Minor League left-hander Trevor Reckling. Reckling, 22, posted a 3.93 ERA in 17 starts for Double-A Arkansas last year, but he was shut down with elbow problems, then struggled mightily at the start of 2012 -- giving up 19 runs (14 earned), 15 walks and five hit batters in 6 2/3 innings for Class A Inland Empire.
Heading into Friday, the Angels and Rangers had met exactly 600 times, with the Angels leading the all-time series, 313-287.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and 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.