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Escobar a late scratch with left thumb sprain

MLB.com @mi_guardado

BOSTON -- Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup against the Red Sox with a left thumb sprain. Cliff Pennington started at third in Escobar's place, with Andrelton Simmons moving into the cleanup spot for the Halos.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar suffered the injury while fielding a ball in Friday night's series opener at Fenway Park. He added that Escobar is considered day to day.

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BOSTON -- Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar was a late scratch from Saturday's lineup against the Red Sox with a left thumb sprain. Cliff Pennington started at third in Escobar's place, with Andrelton Simmons moving into the cleanup spot for the Halos.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar suffered the injury while fielding a ball in Friday night's series opener at Fenway Park. He added that Escobar is considered day to day.

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"He hurt it last night on that dive at the end of the game and really didn't feel it last night," Scioscia said following the Angels' 6-3 win over the Red Sox on Saturday. "Tonight, he came in and it was a little sore. We'll see how he lines up tomorrow."

Escobar is batting .280 with a .746 OPS, five home runs and 21 RBIs in 58 games this season. The 34-year-old veteran has already spent time on the disabled list this year, missing 17 games while dealing with a left hamstring strain.

The severity of Escobar's latest malady is unclear, as the Angels announced the lineup change about an hour before first pitch at Fenway Park.

Fister to face Angels
Veteran right-hander Doug Fister is slated to start for the Red Sox in Sunday's series finale, making his season debut against the club that released him three days ago. Fister signed a Minor League deal with the Angels in May, but decided to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract on Wednesday after he was passed over for a Major League promotion in Anaheim.

Fister, 33, logged a 4.02 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Salt Lake this season, allowing seven runs over 15 2/3 innings while walking five and striking out 10. The Angels could have had Fister make a spot start for them on Tuesday after Matt Shoemaker landed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain, but they decided to call on rookie Parker Bridwell -- who will oppose Fister on Sunday.

Video: LAA@BOS: Red Sox claim Fister off waivers from Angels

Despite the added intrigue, Fister said he doesn't expect to approach his start differently just because he's facing the Angels.

"I can't let it add anything," Fister said. "I have to continue to make a start and attack hitters one through nine no matter who it is. I have the same intensity no matter who it is."

The Angels had been interested in having Fister continue to start for them in the Minors, but he chose to request his release. The Red Sox claimed him off waivers on Friday and immediately inserted him into their rotation, which had been hit hard by injuries.

"It was something that I was willing to take a risk, and that's just the way it is," Fister said. "I'm definitely blessed to be here. I'm looking forward to this opportunity."

Worth noting
• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (right oblique strain) was scheduled to start in an Arizona League game Saturday, but was scratched as a precaution after experiencing general soreness in his oblique and abdominal area. Skaggs will continue to throw "as tolerated," according to the club. The Angels had hoped to get Skaggs back before the All-Star break, but his setback could delay that timeline.

• Shoemaker has been cleared to resume throwing, though it's unlikely that he'll be able to return on Friday, his next turn in the rotation.

"Shoe, as far as all the major stuff, got a clean bill of health," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's resumed throwing and feels much better. This is hopefully a day-to-day thing to see how his long toss progresses, and then obviously, he's going to have to get off the mound and see how he responds."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Yunel Escobar