Angels’ Howie Kendrick improving; Albert Pujols to DH again

SEATTLE -- Howie Kendrick said his right knee “felt fine” after taking early batting practice Friday, and though the second baseman isn’t in the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners, he will be available in case of emergency.

Kendrick was pulled from Thursday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning when he tweaked the knee running off the field. He said he sustained a similar injury about a month ago while breaking for a ball on defense, but the discomfort quickly subsided and he remained in the game.

“This feels like it did the last time, when it came and went,” said Kendrick, whose 15-game hitting streak ended Thursday night.

The Angels brought infielder Andrew Romine to Seattle on Friday and planned to activate him if Kendrick couldn’t play, “but we’re very confident that won’t be necessary,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. Romine will be activated along with several other September call-ups Saturday.


Albert Pujols, who missed four games last week because of a right calf injury, started his fourth consecutive game at designated hitter Friday night, but he took ground balls at first base Thursday and hopes to return to the field soon.

“It’s tough to put a timetable on it -- if it takes a week or two weeks, it does,” Scioscia said. “We need his bat in the lineup, but he’s also a terrific first baseman and we would like to get that defensive presence in there, too.”


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