ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia was among the many who originally felt Howie Kendrick would thrive as a No. 2 hitter, where he'd reap the benefits of batting in front of Albert Pujols.
But Kendrick simply isn't comfortable there.
Last year, Kendrick hit .275 in 43 games while batting second and .321 in 67 games while batting fifth and sixth. And since he was moved down in the order on April 30, the free-swinging Kendrick has picked it up, while the Angels have found better options in front of Pujols, with the slap-hitting Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo.
Izturis and Callaspo, who have formed a relative platoon between Mike Trout and Pujols, were hitting a combined .312 from the 2-hole heading into Thursday's game, though Izturis went 0-for-4 from that spot in a 6-1 loss.
"You have to adjust," Scioscia said. "I think that if you look at where the pieces fit, and what was slowing our team down, we were sitting on a .295 on-base percentage for a long time, under .300. We nosed over the on-base percentage Mendoza Line, I guess that's what you can call it, and we're going to hopefully continue to move north from there. I think it's just putting players in a comfort level."