Now Commenting On:

Anderson staying hot in the DH spot

Anderson staying hot in the DH spot

NEW YORK -- In batting practice before Friday night's game against the Yankees, with Reggie Jackson standing in the background alongside Angels PR maven Tim Mead, Garret Anderson launched an upper-deck drive, into the right-field seats of Yankee Stadium.

Told that it was decidedly Reggie-esque, the modest Anderson grinned and shook his head.

In July, heating up with the weather as usually happens, the greatest offensive performer in Angels history had numbers Mr. October would have been thrilled to call his own.

Riding an eight-game hitting streak with back-to-back four-hit efforts, Anderson finished July batting .384 with a sizzling 14-for-27 (.519) on a challenging road trip through Baltimore, Boston and the Bronx.

"The hand speed is there -- that's never a concern," Anderson said. "It's just a matter of getting everything else in tune, getting the timing and rhythm of my swing down. Things are working better lately, and I've been getting some hits."

Among his most impressive numbers are a .349 season average with runners in scoring position and 22 RBIs in his past 23 games. With two outs and runners on second and/or third, he's batting .372.

Anderson never has enjoyed serving in the designated hitter role, but he acknowledged that his team-high 37th appearance on Friday night in that role has served the purpose of helping keep him healthy and productive.

"DH'ing has helped me this year," he said. "I'm fresher than I'd be playing every day [in left field]. I can say that, truthfully."

That was manager Mike Scioscia's plan in dividing the role among his outfielders: Anderson, Vladimir Guerrero (29 DH starts), Torii Hunter (seven), Gary Matthews Jr. (13), Juan Rivera (12) and Reggie Willits (two).

"One thing we've seen is guys getting more accustomed to the DH role," Scioscia said. "These guys are two-way players, but the bottom line is you need more production [out of the DH], and it's good to see them swing the bats well."

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

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español