The leadoff spot in the
But the latest player atop the lineup, hot-hitting second baseman
Batting first for the second consecutive game, Kendrick on Wednesday had a single, a walk and two stolen bases as the Angels rolled past the
The victory lifted the Angels' record to 14-13, the first time they've been above .500 since opening day last year, when they defeated the
Kendrick was the fifth player to lead the batting order in the team's first 27 games.
And Kendrick, a career .292 hitter at the start of the season, took over the first batting spot while already having a good start to the season at the plate.
Kendrick, who was hitting .234 two weeks ago, has since batted 20 for 55 over his last 14 games to lift his average to .296.
The Angels opened the year with Kole Calhoun batting first. But the right fielder sprained his right ankle in mid-April and went on the disabled list.
That was a week after outfielder
So the club then tried four other players in the leadoff spot:
Kendrick and Cowgill said batting first wouldn't affect how they go about hitting.
"The leadoff spot is just another spot in the lineup," said Cowgill, who has batted first in seven games this season. "The only time you're really the leadoff hitter is the first at-bat of the game. It doesn't change your approach."
Perhaps. But Manager
"It's not just [being] a leadoff hitter, you're talking about a guy who's got to hit in front of
Shuck batted first in seven games this season but went into a slump. Before getting a single Tuesday night, the left fielder was hitless in his previous 22 at-bats. Shuck batted ninth Wednesday, was one for four and is batting .156.
"J.B. was fine leading off ... but J.B.'s struggling," said Scioscia, who added that the Angels want to see him hitting better before putting him atop the batting order again.
"It's the grouping you're looking for, you're looking to connect somebody with Mike and with Albert," Scioscia said. "Right now we'll go with Howie."
Don Baylor pays a visit
Angels hitting coach Don Baylor visited the Angels' clubhouse Tuesday for the first time since he suffered a broken right thigh bone while catching the ceremonial first pitch on opening day, Scioscia said.
Baylor, 64, was in a walker as he talked to the coaching staff and players, Scioscia said, adding that Baylor "still has a ways to go before we're going to see him in the dugout."