Anderson getting closer to return
Garret Anderson increased his workouts Friday as he moves closer to returning from a tear in his right hip flexor. Anderson, who has not played since April 27, tested the injury on the basepath for the first time before Friday’s game against the Dodgers.
“It felt good,” said Anderson, who also took batting practice.
The Angels, who have won eight of their last 10 games, have the luxury of taking a cautious approach because of their recent success and the emergence of outfielder Reggie Willits.
“G.A. is making progress,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We will reevaluate him this weekend. He still needs do some workouts in the field.”
Scioscia said it was too soon to determine whether Anderson would need a rehabilitation assignment before returning to the lineup.
“We’ll see in the next couple days where he is, then make that decision,” Scioscia said. “Even if you go out on a rehab assignment, you still have to come back and adjust to major league pitching when you get back. Sometimes it’s better to start that process right away.”
Willits has provided the Angels with options. He was hitting .384 in the 19 games since replacing Anderson through Thursday, and the Angels are averaging better than six runs in the last nine games.
Willits’ speed helped manufacture two runs Friday. He walked, then raced home on Orlando Cabrera’s double in the first inning. In the third, he slapped a single to left field and then stole second — his ninth steal, tops among American league rookies. After taking third on Cabrera’s grounder, Willits scored on
groundout. He added a two-run single in the sixth.
“Reggie works guys at the plate and everyone gets to see what the pitcher has,” Angels pitcher John Lackey said. “He’ll make the guy throw six, seven, eight pitches. Guys like that are annoying to pitch to. At least the [power] hitters all have holes in their swing, so you can get them to chase something. A guy like Reggie, sometimes you just want to throw one down the middle and say, ‘ here, just hit it’ ”
Second baseman Howie Kendrick, out since April 17 because of a broken bone in his left hand, is close to returning. Scioscia said Kendrick would continue a rehabilitation assignment until Monday, “Then we’ll see where he’s at.” Ken- drick was one for seven in the first two games of his rehab assignment. . . . Relief pitcher tin Speier remains in Arizona with what Scioscia said was a viral syndrome. . . . Third base- man error in the fifth inning was his fourth in 17 games since returning from the disabled list.
NOT EVEN CLOSE: The Angels’ Reggie Willits steals second base in the third inning as Jeff Kent takes the throw. Willits had two hits, scored two runs and knocked in two.