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Scioscia: Kendrick to stay sixth in the order

Scioscia: Kendrick to stay sixth in the order

Scioscia: Kendrick to stay sixth in the order
ANAHEIM -- Very little has been consistent the lineups of Mike Scioscia, who has trotted out 22 different ones through the season's first 25 games.

One thing you can expect to see more of, though, is Howie Kendrick batting in that No. 6 spot.

The Angels second baseman began the year as the No. 2 hitter, a spot many figured he'd thrive in while seeing more strikes with Albert Pujols on deck, but Kendrick went 9-for-46 before being moved down on Monday and has now batted sixth in three straight games, including Wednesday night against Minnesota.

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Scioscia will tell you that decision had less to do with Kendrick's recent struggles and more to do with putting him in more RBI situations.

"There's so much that goes into hitting second, whether it's the situational hitting, getting on base," the Angels skipper said. "And I think Howie's shown in his career he's really comfortable in RBI spots, particularly hitting somewhere in the middle where you might get more opportunities. It's a look we're going to go with for a while."

Scioscia has done a lot of experimenting with his struggling lineup, which came into Wednesday ranked 23rd in the Majors in runs and hadn't recorded a double-digit-hit game since April 21. The three spots in the middle of the order have been pretty much stable, and the two-spot was steady until Kendrick moved down.

But over the last three days, Scioscia has used Maicer Izturis, Alberto Callaspo and, on Wednesday, Vernon Wells -- who came in with a .247 on-base percentage and hadn't hit second since 2007 -- in front of Pujols.

Kendrick, who fell a double short of the cycle and notched his first multihit game since April 20 in Tuesday's 4-0 win over the Twins, is hoping his new spot gets him going again.

"With the lineup we have, when everybody's swinging the bat well, hopefully there will be a lot of guys on base," said Kendrick, who came into the series finale batting .264 with three homers. "We talked about that, and just trying to go out and just be aggressive. As a hitter, you want to try to get those runs in. That's something that I'm open to. But like I've said, as long as I'm playing, I don't care where I hit. It's all about being able to contribute."

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