ANAHEIM -- With the success he has had against lefties this season, Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick was moved up to the fifth spot in the order on Tuesday night to face Royals left-hander Will Smith.
Kendrick is batting .308 (32-for-104) against lefties this season entering Tuesday, with nine doubles, a triple and a home run. He's batting .261 in 222 at-bats against right-handers this season.
Tuesday's game was the 18th in which Kendrick batted in the fifth spot this season, where he's hit .265 with nine RBIs.
"Howie was in a little bit of a funk where he was hitting some balls hard but not getting some hits to fall in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I think, against left-handed pitching, he's been swinging the bat very well and it's a good spot for him to hit behind [Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo]."
In four games to start the Angels' current homestand, the second baseman went 4-for-14 with three doubles. He is batting .301 during the last two months, after having a .257 average through the first two.
Kendrick hasn't made any mechanical adjustments, he said. It's mostly been mental adjustments that have led to his quiet turnaround during the last few months.
"No guy really wants to struggle at any point, but I know it's going to happen in this game," Kendrick said. "And I think the biggest thing is just trying to work through it and come out of it. I think just trying to stay on a steady pace."