Howie Kendrick is having a banner spring training season from the plate,… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels' Howie Kendrick says he doesn't treat spring training any differently than the regular season.
"I'm just trying to get ready. The only way to do that is to play like it’s a regular-season game," said Kendrick, who raised his spring average to .500 with two hits Friday in an 8-5 Cactus League loss to the Seattle Mariners. "I think every guy in here does that but for me the biggest thing is just trying to play like it’s a real game. That’s the only way you’re really going to get prepared."
The way Kendrick is locked in, the regular season can't come soon enough. Not only is he tied for the team lead in batting, but his 18 hits lead the Angels.
Two other players had multiple hits for the Angels, who are hitting .311, the second-best team average in the majors this spring. Vernon Wells had a pair of singles and Peter Bourjos had a single and a solo homer, his second of the spring.
On the mound, Tommy Hanson turned in his best outing as an Angel, giving up two hits -- both homers -- in four innings.
Closer candidate Ernesto Frieri also looked good, retiring the side in order for the second consecutive outing.
Frieri, who relied mainly on a fastball and cutter last year, has added a changeup this spring and he said he's pleased with its progress.
“It’s not done but it’s getting better,” he said. “I feel comfortable enough to use it in any situation.”
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