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OC Register: Improving Kole Calhoun returns to a familiar spot in the Angels’ lineup


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BALTIMORE — Kole Calhoun took another step toward rediscovering … Kole Calhoun.

Calhoun was in the leadoff spot of the Angels’ lineup, just ahead of Mike Trout, on Friday night. It was a position he occupied when he was at his best, but one he hadn’t seen since last year.

It was a recognition from Manager Mike Scioscia that Calhoun continues to show improvement since coming off the disabled list.

“This was a good combination,” Scioscia said of the Calhoun-Trout grouping. “Kole has made some adjustments and hopefully it will pay off.”

One particular element of Calhoun’s game stuck out. He drew two walks on Thursday night. It was only the second game this season in which Calhoun drew multiple walks.

“He’s had a good eye in previous years,” Scioscia said. “It’s been a part of his game, but it’s been elusive this year. Those two walks, hopefully they are a good sign of him making better decisions at the plate.”

In his first 10 games since returning from the disabled list with a strained oblique, Calhoun was hitting .321 with a .406 on-base percentage and a .978 OPS.

Small sample size, sure. Encouraging nonetheless.

“Every day is a new day,” Calhoun said. “You’ve still got to go out and perform. I’m not thinking about it much honestly. I just want to go out and have a good game. Just going out and trying to help the team win.”

The other element to moving Calhoun up in the lineup was moving Ian Kinsler down. Kinsler this year has done better hitting for power than getting on base, so Scioscia was hoping they could get some runners on base in front of him.

ALSO

Garrett Richards was scheduled to throw about 60 pitches for Class-A Inland Empire on Friday night, testing the hamstring that landed him on the disabled list. Scioscia said Richards is “very confident” that the issue is behind him. If all goes well with this rehab assignment, it’s possible Richards could be activated to pitch next week at Seattle. …

As expected, Trout returned to center field after nine games at designated hitter. Trout said his pedestrian numbers at DH (6 for 28, nine walks) were at least partly because he wasn’t used to the down time between at-bats as a DH. Scioscia also said the high-energy Trout “drove me crazy” in the dugout while the Angels were in the field. …

Tyler Skaggs on Saturday will be pitching at Camden Yards for the first time since July 31, 2014, which was the game in which he blew out his elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery and a two-year journey back to the majors. Skaggs had not allowed a hit in 4-2/3 innings before he came out of that game.

UP NEXT

Angels (Tyler Skaggs, 6-5, 2.69) at Orioles (Andrew Cashner, 2-8, 4.70), Saturday, 1 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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