NYY@LAA: Wells cuts down Pujols at the plate

ANAHEIM -- When the Yankees face the Angels this weekend, Vernon Wells will be doing everything he can to help New York come away with a series win, but prior to the three-game set on Friday, the left fielder enjoyed reuniting with his former teammates.

"I got to know a lot of those guys really well and we had a blast together," Wells said. "It's like a family. You spend so much time with each other, you get to know them really well."

Wells spent two years with the Angels, but was traded to the Yankees on March 26. As a member of the Angels, Wells hit .222 with 36 home runs -- 25 in 2011 -- and 95 RBIs.

Although Wells struggled during his stint in Southern California, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has fond memories of Wells and the professionalism with which he carried himself.

"He worked very hard at the game," Scioscia said. "You could tell that his non-performance is something he did not take in stride. I mean he felt it. And whether he had a rough day the night before, he came out with a positive frame of mind and said, 'I'm going to help us win today.' Maybe fans don't see that side of him, but he didn't take it easy when he was struggling, and he knows that he's a better player than what he showed when he played with us."

This is not the first time Wells has faced a former team and feels he is ready for any type of fan reception.

"I know how it was in Toronto, and it can't be any worse than it was there," Wells said. "Being there prepared me for whatever's thrown at me."

Wells began the weekend series batting fifth in the Yankees lineup with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. He is only hitting .095 in June.

While Wells believes he is close to breaking through, he also feels his former team is capable of climbing out of its early slump.

Wells is surprised to find the Angels 10 games under .500 in the middle of June.

"After going through it last year with pretty much that same group, it's unexpected, yeah, but this game, just when you think you have it figured out, things happen," Wells said. "There is so much talent in that locker room, they are still capable of going on runs that not many organizations can do, and I think they all know that."

Youk returns to DL with back injury

NYY@SEA: Youkilis makes diving stop at third for out

ANAHEIM -- For the second time this season, the Yankees have placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the disabled list.

The 34-year old was placed on the 15-day DL with a lumbar strain prior to Friday's contest against the Angels.

"Basically I have the feeling of when you fall asleep on something, that feeling on my foot, my calf area," Youkilis said. "So we're basically going to get it checked out, make sure it's nothing serious."

Youkilis is scheduled to see a doctor on Monday.

"I think whenever you have a back injury, there are always long-term concerns," manager Joe Girardi said. "It's hard to keep healthy, it really is. With all the movements you make, swings, diving and sliding, it's something that you really have to stay on top of and in a sense, you have to be a little bit lucky too to keep it healthy. It is a concern of mine."

The concern and the uncertainty of everything is unsettling and frustrating to Youkilis.

"When you break your arm or break your finger, it's a lot easier to pinpoint stuff, but when you don't have a definitive answer, it's tough," Youkilis said. "For me personally, I just want to be out there playing, and right now it stinks, but I've really got to worry about my health."

While the 10-year veteran wants to get back out on the field, it is no secret he has been in a slump. Youkilis is hitting just .143 in his last 17 games, but does not believe his back has been holding him back.

"I was going through a tough time, but I don't think this was something that was the sole reason," Youkilis said.

While Youkilis is just the latest in a long line of injuries for the Yankees this season, Girardi likes the way his team has responded to adversity and expects more of the same.

"It's been a lot of guys, but through all of that we're still eight games over .500, not so sure too many people would have bet on that," Girardi said. "So I have faith in these guys that they can continue to win games."

Yankees call up Bootcheck, Neal

NYY@LAA: Neal singles to notch first hit with Yankees

ANAHEIM -- In response to Thursday's 18-inning series finale in Oakland and Kevin Youkilis hitting the disabled list, the Yankees called up right-handed pitcher Chris Bootcheck and outfielder Thomas Neal and optioned Adam Warren to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi liked what he saw from Warren, but the right-hander wasn't going to be available for a few days after pitching six innings Thursday and the club needed to make sure it had enough arms to get through the three-game series against the Angels.

"It's really hard," Girardi said, "when a guy basically does his job and you have to send him down. It's difficult. It's tough, but he's pitched very well and we're really encouraged with what he's done."

Warren posted a 3.12 ERA in 32 2/3 innings.

Bootcheck, originally drafted by the Angels, has not pitched in the Major League since 2009. He has a 5-2 record with a 3.61 ERA in 11 starts and 62 1/3 innings with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Neal gives Girardi options in the outfield.

"He gives us options against left handers," Girardi said. "He's here to help out."

With Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson getting the start on Friday, the 25-year-old from Southern California hit sixth and started in right field.

"It's pretty cool to get out here and get in there right away," Neal said. "Obviously we all want to go out there and be successful, but I don't want to go out there and put too much pressure on myself so I'm just going to stay focused mentally and whatever happens, happens."

Bombers bits

• Gosuke Kato, the Yankees' second-round Draft pick, took batting practice and worked out with the team at Angel Stadium prior to Friday's game. Kato, an 18-year old second baseman, bats left-handed and is currently committed to play collegiate baseball at UCLA.

• Left-handed pitcher Cesar Cabral was outrighted to Double-A Trenton.

• Ichiro Suzuki was not in the starting lineup on Friday, but he said he felt fine. Girardi said there may be a couple of Yankees who get days off over the weekend because of Thursday's 18-inning game.