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Angels put Kendrick on 15-day DL; sign Branyan

- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2011

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels placed infielder Howie Kendrick on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with right hamstring tightness.

The move, announced before the game against Oakland, is retroactive to May 20. Kendrick has missed the past seven games after his hamstring tightened last week in Seattle.

Kendrick ran before the game and manager Mike Scioscia said he was feeling better, but general manager Tony Reagins indicated the team wasn't satisfied with his progress. Kendrick is the Angels' leading hitter with a .322 average.

Also, the team signed 35-year-old infielder Russell Branyan to a contract for the season. He was designated for assignment last week by Arizona and released Wednesday.

Branyan was hitting .210 with one homer and two RBIs for the Diamondbacks, mostly as a pinch hitter. He ended an 0-for-22 skid with a single against Atlanta last Wednesday.

"He's not the big bat that everybody is always mentioning, but he's a quality player with a veteran presence. He's got an outstanding makeup and will help us win ballgames," Reagins said.

"We know he has the ability to change the game with one swing."

Branyan hit 25 home runs last season with Cleveland and Seattle, and his signing returns him to the AL West.

Reagins said Branyan could play at first base, backing up Mark Trumbo against left-handed pitching, and be the designated hitter, allowing Bobby Abreu to play more in left field.

First baseman Kendrys Morales underwent a second surgery in Vail, Colo., on Thursday on his left ankle to clean out scar tissue, degenerative cysts and debris. Reagins didn't have an immediate update on Morales, who won't return this season.

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