ANAHEIM -- With the success he has had against lefties this season, Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick was moved up to the fifth spot in the order on Tuesday night to face Royals left-hander Will Smith.
Kendrick is batting .308 (32-for-104) against lefties this season entering Tuesday, with nine doubles, a triple and a home run. He's batting .261 in 222 at-bats against right-handers this season.
Tuesday's game was the 18th in which Kendrick batted in the fifth spot this season, where he's hit .265 with nine RBIs.
"Howie was in a little bit of a funk where he was hitting some balls hard but not getting some hits to fall in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I think, against left-handed pitching, he's been swinging the bat very well and it's a good spot for him to hit behind [Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo]."
In four games to start the Angels' current homestand, the second baseman went 4-for-14 with three doubles. He is batting .301 during the last two months, after having a .257 average through the first two.
Kendrick hasn't made any mechanical adjustments, he said. It's mostly been mental adjustments that have led to his quiet turnaround during the last few months.
"No guy really wants to struggle at any point, but I know it's going to happen in this game," Kendrick said. "And I think the biggest thing is just trying to work through it and come out of it. I think just trying to stay on a steady pace."
Halos' top prospect Segura makes debut
ANAHEIM -- Two days after his Major League callup, the Angels' Jean Segura made his Major League debut on Tuesday against the Royals.
Segura, ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Angels organization by MLB.com and No. 45 overall in MLB, got the nod at shortstop in place of the injured Erick Aybar and batted eighth.
Segura went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the Halos' 4-1 loss.
Maicer Izturis started at short on Monday night, but with the night game on Tuesday followed by a 12:35 p.m. PT game on Wednesday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia wanted to rest Izturis, who hasn't started more than two games in a row since June 4-6.
In 94 games for Double-A Arkansas this season, Segura batted .294 with seven homers, 40 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. He probably won't be a long-term option at the Major League level if Aybar is forced to go on the disabled list, but the experience he gains in his brief time with the Angels should serve him well, Scioscia said.
"He's ready to come up here and play defense, but as far as being a finished product, he's not," Scioscia said. "Is he ready for a challenge of coming in here and being on the depth chart in the Major Leagues? He is.
"To be an everyday Major League ballplayer, there's no doubt that there's some growth that has to happen with Segura. And it will, over time. When he gets his opportunity, he'll be ready for it."
Segura has many of the tools that make up a good infielder, Scioscia said -- a plus-arm, plus-speed and a good bat. The 22-year-old is just early in his development stage. He switched from second base to shortstop in 2011, and is still evolving into what the Angels hope is an everyday player in the future.
"He's special, and hopefully he'll continue to develop," Scioscia said. "He can be an impact player in a number of positions."
Williams ready to contribute out of 'pen
ANAHEIM -- Had Garrett Richards not shut down the Tigers in his last outing, Tuesday's game against the Royals could have been Jerome Williams' turn to start for the Angels.
In his last start, Richards went seven scoreless innings against the Tigers, earning the fifth spot in the Angels' rotation. Williams gave up five runs in six innings against Detroit two days later and landed in the bullpen.
Williams started 12 games from April 15 to June 18, when he landed on the disabled list with respiratory problems, and then made two more starts after coming off the DL. But in his last five starts, he wasn't having the same success he had earlier in the season.
In his last five outings, the right-hander gave up 24 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings. He allowed five earned runs in each start but one, raising his ERA from 3.68 to 4.85.
Though pitching out of the bullpen isn't an ideal situation for the 30-year-old, it's not new to him.
"I've been in the bullpen before, so I know how to prepare myself," Williams said. "Of course I want to start, but I just want to try to help out the team in any way possible. Going in the bullpen, when I get the call, I'm going to try to do the things I've been doing earlier in the year."
Williams pitched four scoreless innings of relief in the Angels' 4-1 loss to the Royals on Tuesday after Richards allowed four runs in five innings.
Whether he returns to the rotation later this season or remains in the bullpen, Williams still believes that he'll have the length in his arm if the Angels need him back as a starter. His preparation doesn't change much.
"I know I'm going to be ready from pitch one, the same as being a starter," Williams said. "I've just got to get ready quicker. I know how to get ready when I need to. I'll be ready to go out there."
Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.