"The division lead is important after the last game of the season," he said. "The standings are a distraction right now.
"Maybe in about two or three weeks, though, we might want to talk about it a little bit more."
Maybe. But should he bother to take a peek at the leaderboard Monday, he'll see the Angels are back atop the
It's the first time the Angels have led the division in August since 2009. And while that may be a distraction for Scioscia, it's a big deal for center fielder
"There's a lot of games left. But it's a lot better than we were the past two years," he said. "So we're pretty happy about that."
The Angels got there by winning nine of their last 12 games, including seven of 10 on the trip. None was as important as Sunday's, though, which not only ended at five games a losing streak in Oakland, but also ended a tie with the A's for the best record in the majors.
After being held to four runs in the first two games of the series, the Angels doubled that number before their second out in the fourth inning Sunday with
"We're bound to break out at some point," right fielder Kole Calhoun, who had three hits Sunday, said jokingly.
Hamilton, Trout, Albert Pujols and
However, no one broke out more than Hamilton, who had two hits in the first five games of the trip but was six for 16 with two home runs and eight runs batted in in the last five games.
"Just barreling balls up, that's the biggest thing," said Hamilton, who raised his average to .269. "Instead of worrying about, 'OK, I'm not going to get the numbers I want to have this year from this point out,' I can have good at-bats and try to contribute every night.
"That's the point where we're out in the season. So that's the approach I'm taking."
With a home run, a single and two runs, Trout also stopped a skid in which he had more strikeouts (10) than hits (six) in his last six games.
The Angels did most of their damage against former teammate
But this time the left-hander looked a lot more like the guy the Angels released in 2011, matching season highs by giving up seven runs and 10 hits and getting only nine outs.
On the other side, the Angels'
"That's one of our leaders," Calhoun said of Weaver. "He competes for us every single time. And he takes that presence to the mound and it's somebody that's going to be important for us down the stretch."
And when the Angels get to the end of that stretch, Scioscia promised he will check the standings then.
In the meantime, Calhoun said the Angels will just try to keep doing what they did Sunday.