Angels' table-setters are coming through

Angels' table-setters are coming through

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Angels had their issues in Kansas City while dropping three of four games to the Royals, but they had no complaints about the top third of their lineup.

Maicer Izturis, Howard Kendrick and Bobby Abreu excelled in terms of getting on base and setting the offense in motion. They also did a pretty fair job of driving the ball, a secondary responsibility.

"That top three is going to be strong," said Abreu, who has thrived throughout his career in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. "Our on-base percentage has been really good. I think we can keep it going."

In addition, Izturis (.353), Kendrick (.400) and Abreu (.524) had a combined .431 OBP. Erick Aybar assumed Izturis' leadoff role for one game and went 2-for-4, bringing the collective OBP from the top three in the order to .435.

Despite launching two monster home runs, Torii Hunter (.211, two RBIs) and Vernon Wells (.167, one RBI) did not take advantage of the activity in front of them. As a team, the Angels batted .167 (7-for-42) with runners in scoring position.

"Put that one on me," Hunter said after going 1-for-7 and leaving eight runners stranded in Sunday's 12-9 loss. The right fielder personally apologized to Abreu, who was 5-for-5 (for the third time in his career) along with two walks.

"Forget about it," Abreu told Hunter. "You do enough for this team. We'll get it all together. I'm not worried about it."