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Two years after demotion, Kendrick is an All-Star

July 3, 2011 |  4:30 pm

Photo: Angels Howie Kendrick gets high-fives in the dugout after his solo homerun gives the Angels a 5-3 lead over the Dodgers in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 24, 2011. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times That he was named to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career Sunday was special enough for Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick.

What made the honor even more sweet was that it came a little more than two years after Kendrick was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake with a .231 batting average on June 13, 2009.

Kendrick, one of the team's most consistent hitters since he was first called up in 2006, was recalled in early July and hit .351 from July 4 through the remainder of the 2009 season. He hit .279 with 41 doubles and 71 runs batted in last season and was batting .307 with eight homers, 18 doubles and 26 RBIs entering Sunday night's game against the Dodgers.

"There have been a lot of stepping stones in this game, I've learned a lot of stuff, and all of the things that happened to me in my career helped me get to this moment," Kendrick said. "Hopefully, I can have fun with this experience and enjoy it."

Getting demoted in 2009 "made me more hungry," Kendrick said. "It helped me get my competitor back. It was something I had to persevere, and it made me stronger as a player and a person."

Kendrick will join Angels pitcher Jered Weaver for the July 12 game in Phoenix. Weaver was a late addition to the AL team last season but didn't pitch in the game. With a 10-4 record and a major league-leading 1.92 earned-run average, Weaver is a leading candidate to start this year.

"It was awesome to be a part of it last year, to take it all in, to hang out in the dugout and talk to all the guys," Weaver said. "It was disappointing that I didn't pitch. This time, knowing I'll have a chance to throw will be pretty cool."

Weaver's parents were pretty confident the right-hander would make the All-Star team. "They had a hotel room booked in Phoenix already," Weaver said.

When did they book it?

"No comment," Weaver said.

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--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Angels Howie Kendrick gets high-fives in the dugout after his solo homerun gives the Angels a 5-3 lead over the Dodgers in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on June 24, 2011. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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