Breakout year gone awry

This was supposed to be Howie Kendrick's breakout year. Instead, it has just been a series of bad breaks.

Howie Kendrick was activated from the disabled list and returned to the Angels' lineup Monday after missing 35 games with a fractured index finger on his left hand. It was the second broken bone in his left hand this season. He also missed 32 games in April and May after he was hit in the hand by a pitch from A's RHP Chad Gaudin.

"Howie's ready to go," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Monday. "He's back to where he was before. There's going to be a little adjustment. There always is coming into the major leagues, but he's been great as far as his finger... He's ready."

But Kendrick struggled after his first return from the DL. He finally seemed to find his stroke and was batting .349 (37-for-106) with 25 runs scored in his last 26 games before going back on the DL in early July.

To make room for Kendrick on the roster Monday, infielder Erick Aybar was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Aybar suffered the injury during Sunday's game in Boston. It is his second trip to the DL this season, as well. He had wrist surgery in early July and returned to active duty on August 5.

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