Angels drop struggling Josh Hamilton out of cleanup spot

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Teams have been pitching around Albert Pujols to get to Josh Hamilton, so the Angels have dropped Hamilton to No. 5 in the lineup tonight after using him in the cleanup spot for each of the first 17 games.

That could be partly due to facing a left-hander in Derek Holland, but if Hamilton were hitting well the handedness of the pitcher probably wouldn’t be much of a factor. Instead he’s just 12-for-68 (.176) with 23 strikeouts and a .570 OPS, and manager Mike Scioscia prefers Mike Trumbo behind Pujols.

Video: With friends and family present, Brandon Nimmo hits inside-the-park homer at Coors Field

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The Mets opened up a four-game series against the Rockies at Coors Field on Monday night, the last leg of their 10-game road trip. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who grew up in nearby Wyoming, got his first start in Colorado, so he bought about 75 tickets for friends and family for the series, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Batting leadoff, Nimmo fittingly led off the game by hitting an inside-the-park home run, drilling an 0-2 cutter from Tyler Anderson to right-center field. The ball didn’t take the carom that right fielder Carlos Gonzalez expected, so Nimmo circled the bases easily to complete his 11th home run of the season.

The 25-year-old Nimmo has proven to be a spark plug for the underachieving Mets. Entering play Monday, he was batting .274/.402/.565 in 204 plate appearances. Nimmo hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday, helping the Mets overcome the Diamondbacks.