BILL DWYRE

Angels' J.B. Shuck, once a castoff, is a solid member of the cast

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"He's not going to wow you with his arm or bat, but you see the heart and desire and then you are wowed."

Shuck got his chance to play regularly on the night of the game that would never end, the April 29 outing in Oakland that the Angels lost in 19 innings. New York City commuters caught the last few innings on their morning drive-time radio. Bourjos pulled a hamstring sprinting to first base.

Shuck's reaction?

"Oh, crap. We just lost our center fielder," he said.

The game went so long, Shuck got three at-bats that night and has been a full-time worker ever since.

In Wednesday's 4-3 victory over the Dodgers, Shuck was 0 for 4 and not needed, except to squeeze the last fly ball into his glove after Ernesto Frieri had given up two solo homers in the ninth.

Trumbo drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run homer that was a couple of bounces shy of the 57 Freeway.

Friday night, the Astros come to town, and that has served as a reminder to Shuck's teammates of Houston's apparent mistake in "going in a different direction."

Bourjos said, "We can't believe they let him go."

Trumbo rolled his eyes in a gesture of: Can you believe they did that?

The Astros have shuffled their outfield more than a blackjack dealer. In their first 34 games, they played nine different outfielders. A likely trio here this weekend will be J.D. Martinez, Brandon Barnes and Jimmy Paredes.

That's decent, but it sure isn't J.B. Shuck and those other two guys.

bill.dwyre@latimes.com.

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