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Confident Calhoun keeps sizzling

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ARLINGTON -- There's something about Kole Calhoun's personal style that projects a deeply rooted self-confidence. The Angels' 26-year-old right fielder and leadoff man from Buckeye, Ariz., has every reason to feel that way given his performance in a breakout season.

"Any player has to go out there with confidence," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This game will drag you down and chew you up if you don't have confidence. Kole's had some dry spells, but he knows what he can do. He's given us a big boost."

The Angels' offense has taken flight with the top third -- Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols -- driving the machinery. Calhoun, who had four hits and missed a cycle by a home run in Thursday night's rout of the Rangers, is hitting .371 since May 29 -- third in the Majors -- while leading both leagues in runs scored with 36 during the stretch.

Calhoun is hitting .305 overall with a .366 on-base percentage and .542 slugging mark. His 10 home runs are third on the club behind Trout (21) and Pujols (20).

"No doubt he has some pop in his bat," Scioscia said. "He's put together [physically]. Look at the guy."

Scioscia compared Calhoun's compact structure to that of Ron Cey, his former teammate with the Dodgers.

"Kole's not going to hit as many home runs as Penguin did," Scioscia said, "but he can drive the ball."

Two weeks into the season, Calhoun went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle, missing 31 games. Collin Cowgill flourished in Calhoun's absence, and a platoon formed when they were reunited. Finding Cowgill at-bats might become a challenge if Calhoun continues to bash baseballs, given that Trout and Josh Hamilton don't need many days off in the outfield.

"I don't think it was a total platoon," Scioscia said. "If Kole is swinging to his potential, he's not really a guy you'd platoon. He's hanging in very well against left-handers."

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

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