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Finger injury not hurting Trout's All-Star chances

Angels slugger started at DH for 7th straight game but could return to OF soon
MLB.com @mi_guardado

BOSTON -- Mike Trout started at designated hitter for the seventh consecutive game on Tuesday, but he could be back in center field soon.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

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BOSTON -- Mike Trout started at designated hitter for the seventh consecutive game on Tuesday, but he could be back in center field soon.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

View Full Game Coverage

Trout played catch before the Angels' series opener against the Red Sox and said his sprained right index finger has improved.

"It felt better than it did," Trout said. "Just day to day. Hopefully, I'll play in a few days."

Trout's finger injury has hampered his ability to throw, preventing him from taking his usual spot in center field for the last week. While the Angels have managed to keep his bat in the lineup by starting him at DH, Trout has gone just 4-for-18 (.222) over six games in that role, a notable downtick from the .439 average he posted over his previous 16 games in June.

"It's tough," Trout said. "Obviously, you want to go out there. Just the mindset of staying locked in, it's been different. But yeah, I'm trying hard to skip back out in the outfield."

Trout, who missed the Angels' trip to Boston last year because of a thumb injury, is set to play at Fenway Park for the first time since July 3, 2016, giving him an opportunity to add another milestone to his already impressive resume.

Trout is still searching for his first home run at Fenway Park, the only American League ballpark in which he has yet to homer. He has at least four home runs in every other AL venue.

"When it's all said and done, I think he'll break that streak," manager Mike Scioscia predicted.

Trout, 26, remains on pace to earn a starting assignment in the American League outfield at the 2018 All-Star Game at Nationals Park on July 17. According to the latest ballot update released Tuesday, Trout has garnered 1,989,649 votes, the second-highest amount among AL outfielders. Only the Red Sox's Mookie Betts (2,337,514) has drawn more.

No other Angels position players are in the top three in voting. Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani rank fourth among AL first basemen and DH, respectively.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 8:59 p.m. PT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Worth noting

Garrett Richards (left hamstring strain) threw a light bullpen on Monday and will ramp up his work on the mound on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow will be a more intense bullpen, which will give us a little better read," Scioscia said. "But just getting on the slope, he felt fine, which is encouraging."

Jim Johnson (lumbar strain) is expected to throw off the mound at some point this week.

• The Angels released catcher Juan Graterol, who was designated for assignment last week.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout