At first, Angels veteran Howie Kendrick tried to lay down a bunt.

Then came a hit and run.

Finally, on a full-count pitch, Kendrick stroked the ball into the left-center field gap to score Josh Hamilton with the winning run in the 10th inning to punctuate a wild 3-2 victory Saturday over the Texas Rangers.

“That’s about all the signs we have,” Kendrick said, laughing.

That is why Angels manager Mike Scioscia loves Kendrick — his ability to do anything in a clutch spot.

“He’s a multi-dimensional player,” Scioscia said. “He can get the bunt down, he can hit and run and he can drive the ball. He got a 3-2 count and he got ahold of a pitch and split the gap. They gave him one mistake and he did not miss it.”

Kendrick bailed out the Angels’ much-maligned bullpen and allowed the announced Angels Stadium crowd of 37,026 to enjoy their scheduled fireworks show without interruption.

Hamilton started the 10th-inning rally off his former team with a line-drive single up the middle off the glove of pitcher Neal Cotts.

The Rangers brought in Jason Frasor to pitch to Kendrick, who worked the count full.

With Hamilton running on the pitch, Kendrick rifled a line drive into the wide-open left-center gap to easily score Hamilton with the winning run.

Kendrick rounded second, joyously threw off his helmet and was immediately mobbed by teammates after his fifth career walkoff hit. Fireworks went off and Kendrick got doused with a colorful celebratory sports drink.

“It gets more and more fun,” said Kendrick, who has three career walkoffs against the Rangers. “The younger you are, the more pressure you put on yourself. The more experience you get, the more you just try to have a good at-bat and let it happen.

“We’ve had a lot of walkoffs. Cowgill, Trout. It seems like it’s a different guy each time. Last year we had a lot of extra-inning games but we lost quite a few of those.”

Lost in the walkoff aftermath was the performance of Angels starter Jered Weaver.

Not only did Weaver keep the Rangers in the park, he kept the Angels in the game.

Weaver threw eight brilliant innings, allowing just one earned run and four hits. He had five strikeouts and two walks and lowered his home career ERA against the Rangers to 2.17 (10 earned runs in 102 2/3 innings).

“Something clicked there going toward the end of the game,” Weaver said. “I don’t normally look at video, but I compared my last start to myself in 2011 and made a minor adjustment, and everything felt good.