BOSTON -- These days, it's rare to see Howie Kendrick not hit the ball hard.
The Angels' second baseman has been on a tear lately -- the type that made manager Mike Scioscia comfortable putting him in the No. 5 spot to allow Josh Hamilton to bat second. In his prior 16 at-bats heading into Sunday's series finale from Fenway Park, Kendrick had 12 hits. And since May 14, he was batting a Major League-leading .416, with 13 multi-hit games in 23 contests to raise his batting average by 53 points.
Kendrick had homered only once in his prior 17 games, but he had already matched last year's total of eight. His .328 batting average was the highest it's been through the first 62 games of a season since 2008 (.329).
"I just play, man, to be honest with you," said Kendrick, who compiled a .284/.325/.423 slash line as an everyday player the last three years. "Just as easy as they can be really good, they can be on the other side, too. You enjoy it while you're doing it and hope it continues. Honestly, I've been trying to go out and just keep playing hard, trying to help the team win."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.