SEATTLE -- Unsurprisingly, Howie Kendrick was out of the starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Mariners, one day after the Angels' second baseman was forced to exit early with random pain on the inside of his right knee.
That pain, however, isn't expected to keep him out much longer.
Early Friday afternoon, Kendrick hit in the batting cages, came out of it feeling just fine, then took part in pregame activities with the rest of his teammates at Safeco Field. Andrew Romine was in the Angels' clubhouse, up from Triple-A Salt Lake and available for activation in case Kendrick couldn't go.
But Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Kendrick would be available in case of emergency in the series opener and could return Saturday.
"He feels much better today," Scioscia said. "Right now we think he'll be available if we would need him, certainly to fill in if any kind of injury would pop up that he would have to play. But we're going to try to stay away from him as much as we can to see if he can be available tomorrow."
Kendrick experienced the pain in his knee, similar to what he felt while playing defense about a month ago, while jogging back to the dugout between the third inning on Thursday night. When he then came out to the on-deck circle, he couldn't put any pressure on it, so Scioscia was forced to use Alberto Callaspo in his place the rest of the game.
And with that, after a lineout to center field in his first plate appearance, Kendrick's hitting streak ended rather unfairly at 15 games.
"Health is more important than [the hitting streak], I can tell you that," said Kendrick, who has used a scorching August to put him at .291/.331/.404 for the season. "... The main focus is winning, but more importantly you have to be healthy to do that. I think the biggest thing was just trying to figure out what was going on."