Trout hopeful to return to Angels lineup Thursday

Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout was out of the lineup for the third straight game Wednesday night against the Houston Astros because of a calf injury.

Trout expects to return to the Angels' lineup on Thursday.

"I feel good," Trout told reporters Wednesday. "I feel fine. Just being cautious. I think I'll be available to hit tonight and I should be fine to play tomorrow."

Manager Brad Ausmus said Trout would be evaluated again before playing.

"We're going to get him evaluated again when the doctors get in here and hopefully he'll be able to go tomorrow full bore," Ausmus said. "But I can't swear to that."

An MRI performed on Monday revealed a small strain in Trout's right calf.

The 27-year-old is batting .305/.455/.666, on a pace to compete for his third MVP trophy. He's 12-for-32 with eight home runs in nine games this month.

Brian Goodwin got the start in center field for the Angels again.