Yankees-Angels Preview

The Los Angeles Angels got enough from their inconsistent

offense to earn a win in their return home and should get a boost

just in time to face New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia.

Leading hitter Howie Kendrick is expected to be activated from

the disabled list before Saturday night’s matchup with the

Yankees.

Since an 11-run outburst in Boston on May 5, the Angels have

scored three or fewer in 14 of their last 27 games, including five

shutouts, and batted .207 in those contests. In the other 13 games,

they’ve averaged 5.5 runs while batting .280.

Los Angeles (30-29) pushed across three runs in Friday’s series

opener but it was enough to secure a one-run victory. The Angels

scored twice in the first inning of their nine-game homestand and

snapped New York’s season-high, four-game win streak.

They’ll have a chance to improve on that effort with Kendrick

ready to return to the lineup. The second baseman, who has also

seen time at first base and in the outfield, was batting .322 with

seven homers and 18 RBIs when a strained right hamstring put him on

the shelf May 26.

“It’s just about getting back on the field now … and get back

into a rhythm with everybody else,” he told the team’s website.

“I’m ready to go.”

The Angels might need Kendrick’s help against Sabathia (6-3,

2.98 ERA), who will try to win a fourth consecutive start. The

left-hander has a 1.80 ERA during his streak and has benefited from

a combined 25 runs of support.

“He just knows how to pitch. He knows how to give us distance,

he knows what to do and he takes it upon himself that ‘I’m going to

go out and do it for you,”’ manager Joe Girardi said after a 7-1

win in Seattle on Sunday. “When CC gets into a little bit of a jam

there is no panic to him. He’s going to continue to execute

pitches.”

Sabathia hasn’t fared as well in his recent regular-season

matchups with Los Angeles, dropping consecutive decisions and six

of 10, but beat the Angels twice in the 2009 AL championship series

to earn MVP honors.

Los Angeles was expected to counter with Dan Haren but he has

been pushed back to Tuesday after experiencing discomfort in his

lower back during a bullpen session this week. The Angels instead

will look to Ervin Santana (3-4, 4.34), who is seeking his third

straight win but coming off one of his worst starts of the

season.

Santana gave up six runs over the first two innings Monday in

Kansas City but avoided a loss when his teammates rallied for a

10-8 victory.

Santana is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts against

New York (31-24). Derek Jeter has batted .452 (14 of 31) in his

career versus the right-hander and will try to move closer to his

3,000th hit Saturday.

The Yankees captain is 16 shy of that milestone after having a

seven-game hit streak snapped during the series opener.

Kendrick is 8 for 12 in his career against Sabathia.

Including the postseason, Los Angeles has won 25 of 35 home

matchups in this series.