Notes: Not worried about offense

Notes: Not worried about offense

ARLINGTON -- The Angels posted the top batting average in the Majors last season, but the hits are coming a bit slower to open this year.

Through the first seven games, the Angels were next to last in the American League with a .237 mark. But there is currently no cause for concern, yet, or even a need to check any anxiety levels.

"I think they're fine for the start of the season," hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. "I look at the first 15 games before I start forming an opinion about how guys are doing. I'm starting to see a lot of guys getting more confidence."

Providing a strong contrast to their start in the regular season was their spring, when the Angels won 21 exhibition games, including a three-game sweep of the Dodgers in the Freeway Series. But significant contributions in the desert came from farmhands and Minor Leaguers who were trying to make an impression.

Some players, such as Chone Figgins, Steve Finley and Orlando Cabrera, have started slowly, while Garret Anderson and Darin Erstad have found their swings a bit more quickly. Manager Mike Scioscia does not believe that reflects a style of offense as much as it being early. He feels his lineup will be fairly steady throughout the season.

"I don't think we're built to be streaky," Scioscia said. "I think we're built for consistency."

Cabrera was the hero Monday afternoon with his 10th-inning solo homer off R.A. Dickey. Cabrera singled in a pair of runs in his first at-bat Tuesday and feels the lineup will be scary once it heats up.

"As long as we keep our heads in the game we can score with anybody," Cabrera said.

In the zone: With a first-inning single Tuesday night, Vladimir Guerrero extended his hitting streak against the Rangers to 23 games. It is the longest current streak by an active player against one club.

In the zone II: Anderson is off to a strong start this season with 12 hits in his first 32 at-bats. His first-inning double Tuesday was his fourth of the year, driving in Guerrero and Jeff DaVanon.

Last season Anderson hit cleanup, but he also saw time in the three-hole and fifth in the order. Through Spring Training and the first eight games of 2005, Anderson has been the cleanup hitter and Scioscia likes the protection that Anderson provides his primary slugger, Guerrero.

"That's one of the reasons we set it up that way," Scioscia said. "We feel that if they don't want to pitch to Vlad, then they have to face Garret. He took care of that yesterday."

The Rangers put Guerrero on base via an intentional walk in Monday's 7-6 extra-inning victory and Anderson followed with a two-run single.

Rehab report: Adam Kennedy will begin to see action this weekend as the teams that take part of extended Spring Training begin playing games.

Scioscia said his second baseman will be in Tempe, Ariz., for about a week to 10 days and then will be reassigned to one of the Minor League clubs, either Triple-A Salt Lake or Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

"We'll see where he is in the next couple of weeks," Scioscia said.

Kennedy is currently on the 15-day disabled list after surgeries in his right knee to repair a torn ACL and a torn MCL.

Everything went well during Kelvim Escobar's bullpen session Monday as the right-hander threw at 100 percent and worked through his full repertoire of pitches.

Escobar will face the Oakland A's affiliate in Modesto on Thursday in a rehab start and will draw his first start with the Angels this season at home April 19 against Seattle, barring any setbacks.

Escobar was placed on the 15-day DL with a right elbow strain March 31.

On deck: The Angels will wrap up their three-game series in Texas with a 5:05 p.m. PT contest Wednesday. Right-hander Paul Byrd will face Rangers right-hander Chan Ho Park.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.