Kendrick cleaning up at cleanup

Kendrick cleaning up at cleanup

SEATTLE -- The Angels still can't be sure if they'll have Josh Hamilton for the postseason, but if the last three weeks are any indication, they'll be just fine at the cleanup spot.

Veteran second baseman Howie Kendrick has taken off since taking over for Hamilton in the vaunted No. 4 spot behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on Sept. 5. Though he went 0-for-2 in the regular-season finale, he'd entered the contest batting .413 with 18 RBIs and six doubles in 20 games in that spot, giving the Angels more production out of the cleanup spot than they've had all season.

Said Kendrick, who is all but guaranteed to bat fourth in the American League Division Series: "[I'm] hitting the same way I would if I was batting fifth or sixth. I haven't tried to do anything different."

Maturity has kept him from changing his approach.

"A couple of years ago, yeah, it might have been different, and I probably would have treated it differently," he said. "Now I'm just looking at it as, 'They're not asking me to hit for power or anything.' I'm just going out and playing my game."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.