Howie Kendrick has played only a handful of regular season games for the Los Angeles Dodgers but the 31-year-old second baseman is relishing the opportunity to play an integral part of a lineup consisting of many talented players.
Despite coming in as a replacement for Dee Gordon, whose productive first half of last season earned him a spot on the National League All-Star team, Kendrick has more than held his own so far this season, batting .344 and providing a defensive upgrade over his predecessor.
After hitting the two-run single Tuesday that gave the Dodgers a walk-off win against the Seattle Mariners for the second night in a row, Kendrick discussed being in a position for timely hitting.
“You’re going to have a lot of chances, especially hitting in that part of the lineup. You’re not going to get it done every time,” he said. “The times you do get it done, you hope you make it count.”
Kendrick, who was named an All-Star in 2011 as member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, spent much of last season also batting in the cleanup spot. He added it’s important for the Dodgers to show the ability to come back from games going forward
“We’ve had a couple games here where we’ve been down and came back to tie it up or win the game. All that stuff keeps building and building. You get down in games and guys are saying, ‘We can do this.’”
The Dodgers were abysmal in coming back from games last season when trailing after seven innings. So far this season they have three late comeback victories, scoring a combined 10 runs from the seventh inning on in those wins.
Howie Kendrick’s Introductory Press Conference