Anthony Rendon is back in the Angels lineup, starting at third base and batting third in their home opener Tuesday night against the Mariners, making his Halos debut after missing the first four games of the season with a sore oblique.
Rendon first felt tightness in his oblique during an intrasquad game on July 15, and has been limited since. He gradually increased his activity in recent days, taking ground balls at third base as well as batting practice over the weekend with the Angels were in Oakland.
Had the Angels placed Rendon on the injured list to open the season, the earliest he could have returned is Friday, after missing seven games. As it stands, he missed four.
Rendon hits third on Tuesday, in between Mike Trout and Justin Upton in the heart of the Angels’ order. Shohei Ohtani bats fifth as the designated hitter.
David Fletcher filled in admirably at third base in Rendon’s absence, going 8-for-15 (.533) with two doubles, two walks, and three RBI in Oakland. He had a four-hit day Sunday, and reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances at one point, four PA shy of the club record, set by Bobby Grich in 1984.
Fletcher remains in the lineup on Tuesday night against Seattle, batting leadoff and playing shortstop against Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield. Andrelton Simmons is out of the lineup after rolling his ankle in the ninth inning on Monday in Oakland.