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Loss hurts Angels in more ways than one

Kendrick hyperextends knee as Halos fall nine games under .500

ANAHEIM -- Over the last eight games, the Angels have scored 48 times, but against left-handed starters, the Angels are hitting just .246 this season.

On Monday night, something had to give and it turned out to be the recent offensive explosion as the Angels fell, 5-2, to the Rangers at Angel Stadium.

The Angels, who have lost back-to-back games, are 10-19 against lefties after Martin Perez allowed two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.

While losing four games in eight days to the Rangers certainly hurts the Angels, the bigger issue may be the status of second baseman Howie Kendrick, who left the game in the fifth inning with a hyperextended left knee and is considered day to day. He will have an MRI on Tuesday.

"He's an important guy to us and to lose him would be big," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just hope everything is stable in there and he can be day to day."

The Angels, already missing Albert Pujols, are nine games under .500 and fighting to stay relevant in the playoff chase.

Kendrick, who is hitting .301 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs, injured his knee on a two-run triple from Elvis Andrus that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Batting with two on and two out, Andrus blooped a ball into shallow right field that, if caught, would have ended the inning and kept the score tied at 1. Kendrick, who has not been on the disabled list since May 2011, appeared to have made an over-the-shoulder catch for a split second but collided with Collin Cowgill and the ball squirted free.

"It's hard to see guys play their heart out and get hurt like that," Angels starter Jerome Williams said. "Howie made that play and he got hurt. Unfortunately, he dropped the ball falling down, but that's all I can ask him to do. He plays hard, plays all out, it's unfortunate."

Kendrick remained on the ground, clutching his knee in pain but was ultimately able to walk off -- with the assistance of two trainers.

"Hopefully it'll only be a couple days," Kendrick said. "First time I've ever really hyperextended my knee. It's something that I wouldn't want to happen, but me and Cowgill were both trying to make a play on the ball. I didn't really see him at all. Next thing I know we're running into each other. I guess the good thing is that he slid because if we're both standing up, trying to make that play, it could've been a lot worse."

While Perez was effective in his second straight start against the Angels, the same cannot be said about Williams.

In his last outing, Williams limited the Rangers to one run as he pitched into the eighth inning.

"I thought Jerome was a little bit more erratic tonight than maybe we saw in Texas last week," Scioscia said. "Ball-strike ratio was not good. He battled, made some pitches to keep us in the game, but overall I don't think he commanded the counts like he can."

On Monday, Williams lasted just 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits.

"He was tough with his sinker," Rangers right fielder David Murphy said. "He's got really good stuff. He did a great job last time, this time we did a great job of taking advantage of some pitches."

The Angels got the scoring started in the first inning when Mike Trout, who has reached base in 36 straight games, singled. The 21-year old stole second, moved to third and scored on Mark Trumbo's RBI double.

But they missed late opportunities, leaving the bases loaded in both the seventh and eighth innings.

"There's probably five at-bats where we hit the ball really hard with runners in scoring position and have nothing to show for it," Scioscia said.

William Boor is an associate reporter for
Read More: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Jerome Williams, Mike Trout