Origins of "Truck": Second baseman Howie Kendrick owes his nickname to late singing legend Eddie Kendricks, of the Temptations -- courtesy of Bud Black, former Angels pitching coach, now managing the Padres."In my first big-league camp," Kendrick said, "Buddy Black asked me if I'd heard of Eddie Kendricks from the Temptations. He started calling me 'Truck' from one of his songs, 'Keep Truckin'.' Ever since then I've been 'Truck.' " Truck is in high gear, carrying a .500 average (nine hits, 16 total bases) after going 2-for-3 on Friday with a stolen base and two runs scored. "He has the potential to hit second through fifth [in the lineup]," Scioscia said. "He's going to be in major groupings of any offense in baseball. "Right now we're probably going to start him lower in the order, but I can see him driving the ball well enough to hit in the middle of the lineup -- and he can run well enough to score 100-plus runs." In 267 at-bats with the Angels last year, Kendrick hit .285 with four homers and 30 RBIs. At 23, he's solidly constructed -- 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds -- and figures to get stronger. "I'm a guy who hits for average," he said. "I'm going to hit line drives, do whatever I can to get guys over and get runs in. I don't ever think about trying to hit a home run. It just happens." Dignitary visits: Former New York mayor and GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani made an appearance at Friday's game, dropping by the Angels' dugout. "He's impressed with our club," Scioscia said, "but he wouldn't put on an Angels cap. He said, 'I know you've got a cameraman here, and those pictures would go to [Yankees manager] Joe Torre.' He loves the Yankees." Kendrick said that he wasn't aware he was shaking hands with a presidential candidate when Giuliani appeared. "But I know now," Kendrick said, grinning. Up next: Santana puts his Cactus League scoreless streak of five innings up against Seattle on Saturday, facing right-hander Miguel Batista at Tempo Diablo Stadium. Santana has given up three hits and two walks in his five shutout innings, striking out two.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less