By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
OFF DAY - NOTEBOOK
DETROIT -- While the Angels offense as a whole got off to a slow start, there were three in particular who struggled more noticeably than the others. But during the offense's surge in the past few weeks, the same three -- Tim Salmon, Brad Fullmer and Adam Kennedy -- have been a big part of it.
Starting May 1, Salmon is hitting .343 (12 for 35) with two homers and 10 RBIs; Fullmer is hitting .394 (13 for 33) with one homer and five RBIs; and Kennedy is hitting .419 (13 for 31) with two homers and four RBIs.
''It's fun when you know you're not that one guy always getting out,'' Kennedy said. ''When the big guys are swinging well too, you see what happens, we score 18, 19 runs. We've been able to pick them up and drive in some key runs. It's good for our confidence.''
In their past 16 games, of which they've won 14, the Angels have averaged 7.8 runs per game. And everyone has contributed.
''These guys have been swinging better for a while and now they're starting to contribute,'' manager Mike Scioscia said of those who struggled early. ''That's going to be important for us. We're the type of club that has to put pressure on other clubs not only every game but every inning.''
Hatuey Mendoza, pitching for the Angels' Double-A team in Arkansas, threw a no-hitter in the Travelers' 3-0 win over the Tulsa Drillers on Monday. Mendoza hit a batter, walk one and struck out three.
A 23-year-old right-hander, Mendoza threw 91 pitches and retired the final 24 batters. The no-hitter was the first by an Angels' minor leaguer since Ramon Ortiz threw one for Single-A Cedar Rapids against Quad City on Aug. 7, 1997. Mendoza is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA for Arkansas this year.
Mendoza, from the Dominican Republic, was acquired by the Angels from the Diamondbacks in the Rule V draft last December.