For the first three months of this season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have struggled. Beset by injuries, especially in their pitching staff, the Angels found themselves losing games they should have won. Their bats have been performing well, especially outfielder Mike Trout and DH Albert Pujols, they just needed something to change with their pitching.
Just before the All-Star break they began to turn things around. They were tied for last place in the American League West with the Oakland A’s, but now, with a six-game winning streak, they are a full game up on Oakland. Still, they have a lot of work to do to catch the division-leading Texas Rangers.
They got that started on Monday when the Rangers came to Anaheim for a three-game series. The Angels had just swept the Chicago White Sox in three games, scoring 16 runs over the three games, allowing only one run. They were feeling pretty good.
The Rangers have been in a slump. Before the All-Star break they had won only three of 10 games. After the break the lost two of three to the Chicago Cubs. But they still lead the American League West Division.
The three games they played in Angel Stadium were high-scoring affairs. The Rangers put up a total of 15 runs, enough to win a series most of the time. But the Angels scored 24.
In the first game the final score was 9-5. Several Angels, from Mike Trout to Nomar Mazara, Bobby Wilson, Jett Bandy, Kole Calhoun and Ji-Man Choi contributed, with Choi getting his first major league home run.
In the second game of the series DH Albert Pujols belted two 3-run homeruns and then in the 7th inning he was hit in the helmet and face with a pitch and took his base with a smile.
In the third game rookie Jefry Marté went to the plate with two on. He had a 3-0 count and was given the green light to let it rip. He sent the fastball from Martin Perez 455 feet to score three runs for the Angels.
The big names in the Angels’ lineup have been coming through, but we’ve also seen other players step up and contribute offensive and defensively, to give the Halos a six-game winning streak. They have now won 10 of their last 12 games.
Up next the Angels face the Astros in Houston. They are 11.5 games behind the division-leading Rangers and could find themselves in the wild card hunt at least.
Our reporter Claudia Gestro has been covering the Angels and has filed these video reports from Anaheim.
Photos and videos by Claudia Gestro
Top photo: Albert Pujols and Yunel Escobar.
In the second game of the series Pujols hit two 3-run home runs and was hit by a pitch.
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