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Howie Kendrick makes the most of his chances in Angels' win

Angels drop the New York Yankees, 5-2, but remain in a hole despite winning consecutive games.

June 14, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Howie Kendrick gets the force out on Reid Brignac at second before throwing to first to complete the double play in the fourth inning of the Angels' 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday.
Howie Kendrick gets the force out on Reid Brignac at second before throwing… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

If the Angels are ever going to make the season-saving run Manager Mike Scioscia has been promising all spring, now might be a good time to start.

They're home for the next 10 days, their longest homestand of the season. And none of the three teams they'll play host to entered the weekend with a winning record in June.

So while only time will tell whether Friday's 5-2 win over the New York Yankees is a harbinger of things to come or just another lump of fool's gold, the Angels will have to keep winning the kind of games they won Friday if they have any hope of escaping the huge hole they've dug for themselves.

BOX SCORE: Angels 5, New York Yankees 2

"The thing is the process," said Scioscia, whose team has won consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks. "We're not going to wake up tomorrow and be in first place. But we have to wake up in the process tomorrow. It's that process of playing well and doing all the things that we did tonight."

Until that takes hold, though, Howie Kendrick will quietly continue to pick up the slack.

With two hits Friday, he is batting a major league-best .402 over the last month. His season average of .328 leads the team. Just don't bother asking him about that.

"I don't want to talk about how I'm hitting," he said. "It's not just about me, it's about the team. The biggest thing is there were a lot of contributing pieces."

None bigger than Kendrick, who contributed to each of the Angels' first three rallies.

He got the scoring started in the first inning, lining a two-out double to right-center to bring home Josh Hamilton from second. Then after the Yankees reached a laboring C.J. Wilson (5-5) for two runs in a 33-pitch fourth, the Angels got right back in the bottom of the inning to tie the score on Chris Iannetta's sacrifice fly.

Kendrick played a big part that rally too, driving a two-strike single to right field to advance Mark Trumbo into scoring position. So when Kendrick came up again in the sixth, the Yankees walked him intentionally.

That didn't work either with Iannetta delivering a two-out, two-strike single to score Trumbo and give the Angels a lead they didn't relinquish.

Kendrick wasn't the only offensive star Friday. For Iannetta, the two runs batted in doubled his total for June while Trumbo finished with three hits, two runs and an RBI. Albert Pujols also had three hits, raising his average to .256, still 66 points below his career mark but the highest it's been in more than six weeks.

And that made Wilson a winner for just the second time in eight starts dating to May 1. He got that thanks in part to reliever Kevin Jepsen, who escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the eighth by retiring Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells on full-count pitches, then got Ichiro Suzuki to foul out.

"This," Scioscia said "was a complete game for us."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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