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Kendrick's return bumped back

Kendrick's return bumped back

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KANSAS CITY -- Sean Rodriguez is No. 4 on the Angels' depth chart at second base, but he was the No. 8 hitter in manager Mike Scioscia's lineup in the series opener with the Royals on Monday night.

Howard Kendrick's return was "pushed back just a couple days," according to Scioscia, after he played five innings on Sunday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

"He felt good -- just not where it needs to be," Scioscia said, indicating Kendrick will play again for Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday if his strained left hamstring allows. "We want to give him more work there."

Kendrick, a .500 hitter for the Angels this season in 36 at-bats, hasn't played since straining the hamstring while running the bases in Seattle on April 13. After jamming his right thumb in an at-bat against the Indians' Fausto Carmona and missing three games, Kendrick had collected six hits in two games against the Mariners when he felt pain in the hamstring while getting ready to stretch a double on a cold afternoon at Safeco Field.

Playing for Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, Kendrick had two hard singles in three at-bats and handled defensive duties without a hitch. He passed a major test on the bases when he broke up a double play at second base, getting up and racing to third after an errant throw.

Kendrick has said he won't come back until the hamstring is 100 percent, not wishing to risk an injury that would set him back for significant time.

"He felt good coming out of the batter's box," Scioscia said. "We'll let him rest today and [have him] try [to play] tomorrow if it feels stronger. We'll see when he can join us."

Maicer Izturis, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 28 with lower back spasms, said he is "feeling much better" and hopes to be back when eligible on May 12. Izturis was on the DL twice last season with hamstring issues.

Chone Figgins, who'd moved from third base to second base when Izturis went down, strained his right hamstring scoring with a creative slide on Saturday and is listed as day-to-day.

Rodriguez has made the most of his two starts. He collected his first Major League hit and was involved in a big double play on April 19 against the Mariners, and on Sunday he reached base three times with a single and two walks in a win over the Orioles.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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