David Freese has big night in return to Angels lineup

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The pain in his fractured middle finger, for the most part, has gone away, Angels third baseman David Freese said. The slight pain he experiences, for example, when he fouls a ball off of the end of the bat, comes and goes but is just more annoying than anything else.

Tuesday night in his return to the Angels lineup for the first time since May 2, Freese became a huge annoyance to the Astros. The Angels third baseman proved to be a tough out while driving in four runs in the Angels’ 9-3 win.

Any annoying feelings that he had in his finger were all but non-existent, even in the field where he said he was having the most trouble during his rehab.  

He was tested early on a Jesus Guzman grounder. Freese fielded it cleanly and threw a strike across the diamond to first to record the out.

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In the next inning, he fielded a grounder and the throw got away from him a tad but the out was still recorded.

It was at the plate, however, that he did the most damage.

In his first at bat off of the disabled list, Freese hit a single to knock in two of the Angels’ three runs in the first inning.

"Early on we got some big two-out hits and, obviously, David got us going," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We knew that when he gets it going it’s going to be important to our lineup.

"He’s got a great approach with runners in scoring position. He just knows his way around the batter’s box and we are really happy to have him back."

In the fifth, another three-run inning for the Angels, Freese drove in another. He followed that up in the sixth inning with a double off of the wall in right field to score Howie Kendrick.

"I was fired up," Freese said. "I’m just happy to be back.

The run support provided by Freese and company was more than enough for Tyler Skaggs to pick up his first career win at Angel Stadium. Skaggs improved to 4-1 on the season in a seven inning outing, striking out six, and allowing just one earned run.