Kendrick getting chance to lead off for Angels

Kendrick getting chance to lead off for Angels

ANAHEIM -- The Angels have used four different hitters in the leadoff spot since right fielder Kole Calhoun went down with a sprained right ankle on April 15.

J.B. Shuck started six games there, Collin Cowgill has led off four times, Erick Aybar set the table on Monday. And over the last two games, it's been second baseman Howie Kendrick, who hadn't batted leadoff since Sept. 21, 2010, prior to that stretch of back-to-back games.

Kendrick -- like Calhoun, in many ways -- isn't a prototypical leadoff hitter, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia mainly wants someone who can get on base consistently to maximize the opportunities Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have with runners on base.

Kendrick, who reached twice on Tuesday and entered Wednesday with a .295/.378/.419 slash line, said leading off is "not that big of a deal. I go out and put up the same at-bat, with the same approach."

"With [Calhoun and Josh Hamilton] being out, we need to get a little bit more creative in how we look at some things," Scioscia said. "Right now, we'll go with Howie in the short term. If it sticks, great. If not, we'll see how we are as we keep moving through the season."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for 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.