Angels have seen enough of Matt Joyce at the cleanup spot

Matt Joyce wasn’t just dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the Angels batting order Wednesday and Thursday because the lefty was facing right-handed starting pitchers. The left fielder began the season 7 for his first 46 (.152) since the Angels acquired him in an offseason trade that sent reliever Kevin Jepsen to Tampa Bay. Accordingly, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is trying to take some pressure off Josh Hamilton’s replacement.

“That’s part of it, yeah,” Scioscia said. “Matt just needs to take a half-step back so we moved him down in the order and hopefully he’ll start to find some timing and find some confidence. His at-bats early on, it looked like he was starting to come but right now he’s going the other direction.”

Joyce entered Thursday hitless in his last five games and 0 for his last 16, during which his average has dropped 81 points.

The career .248 hitter is averaging 15 home runs and 55 RBIs over the last five seasons. The 2011 All-Star, a Tampa Bay native, spent six of his seven seasons in the majors with the Rays before joining the Angels.

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