08/15/11 10:00 PM ET
Scioscia downplays showdown with Texas
By Quinn Roberts / Special to MLB.com
Kendrick gets a breather
ANAHEIM -- Looking at the Angels' lineup for Monday's series opener against the Texas Rangers, a noticeable player was missing -- Howard Kendrick.Manager Mike Scioscia said the decision came down to specific matchups against Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando. "We wanted to get Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo in there to get a few more left-handed bats against Ogando," Scioscia said. With Kendrick in a little funk, Scioscia also felt is was the right time to give him a day off. In his last 11 games, Kendrick is batting .159 (7-for-44). He also has just one hit in his last 21 at-bats. "Howie is struggling a little bit the last week and we want to give him a chance to catch his breath," Scioscia said. The All-Star said he'd like to be out there every game, but still tries to be prepared for the contests he doesn't start. "I get the same work in and do the same thing every day, so I didn't really think about it," Kendrick said. "I just come in and look at the lineup and see if I'm playing. If I'm not, I just try and be ready to get in there later if they need me." With left-hander Derek Holland and C.J. Wilson on the hill for Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday, Scioscia said Kendrick's absence in the lineup would last only a day. "He'll definitely be out there for the next two games after tonight," Scioscia said.
Jeff Mathis was out of the Angels' lineup Monday against the Rangers as he continues to recuperate from a left hand contusion. Mathis, who suffered the injury Saturday against Toronto, expects to be back in the lineup Tuesday."It's feeling better," Mathis said. "It is a little sore, but the swelling has gone down and it isn't as stiff as it was." The Angels have the best home record in the Majors since June 15, going 17-5 (.773). Torii Hunter has the highest batting average in the Majors since Aug. 1 at a clip of .455 (20-for-44) with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.