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ST. PETERSBURG - Jose Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room on the roster for Nick Tropeano, who will be the starting pitcher when the Angels face the Rays on Monday.

Alverez had a 4.38 ERA in 40 relief appearances for Los Angeles. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits on Sunday without recording an out. It was the first time he allowed a run since June 12.

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ST. PETERSBURG - Jose Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room on the roster for Nick Tropeano, who will be the starting pitcher when the Angels face the Rays on Monday.

Alverez had a 4.38 ERA in 40 relief appearances for Los Angeles. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits on Sunday without recording an out. It was the first time he allowed a run since June 12.

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"Jose needs to go down there and just find his release point," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's not so much the walks that are showing up with Jose, it's the number of pitches he throws behind in the count because he hans't been able to command the ball. He needs to go work on a couple of things, but he'll be back."

The move leads the Angels without any left-handers in the bullpen. Scioscia said Alvarez "needs to exhale", but that being without a left-hander in the bullpen is very important from a strategical perspective.

The lefties that the Angels have had up this season "haven't been effective," Scioscia said, and hopes that the depth of right-handed bullpen pitching carries them.

Tropeano made just one start during his stint in Triple-A, and allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He was recalled because Jhoulys Chacin was moved to the bullpen after posting an 8.78 ERA over a span of six starts.

Geovany Soto close to return

Soto, the Angels catcher, hasn't played in the Major Leagues since May 17 after having surgery to repair a meniscus in his right knee. Scioscia said he's hopeful that Soto will be back while the Angels are in Tampa Bay for their four-game series.

"We're going to let his rehab stay the course," Scioscia said. "When he's ready he'll be with us."

Soto was batting .238 with three homers and seven RBIs before his injury, but had just 67 plate appearances.

Jett Bandy started Sunday following a 5-for-6, six-RBI night for Carlos Perez on Saturday. Bandy will also start Monday against Rays pitcher Matt Moore. Scioscia said he wants to get Bandy some looks, and that he hits left-handed pitching well.

The Angels will likely send down a catcher when Soto returns from the disabled list.

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

 

Los Angeles Angels