That hardly disrupted the preparation or momentum of the Angels, who kept the pedal to the metal in a 7-3 victory over the
The Angels were 23-24 before Detroit came to town, and they seemed to turn a corner against the Tigers, outscoring them, 26-10, and holding a lead for all but three innings of the series. But it wasn't just the lopsided numbers on the scoreboard that impressed Scioscia about his players.
"They were gritty. I liked the way they got after it in every aspect of the game, whether it was defense, pitching, clutch hitting, situational hitting, getting bunts down, stealing bases," Scioscia said. "Whatever we needed to do in a situation, we were able to do, and that's what we need to do to have long-term success."
The opponent changed Monday night, but the performance remained the same, the Angels throwing at the Rays about as complete a game as they've played this season.
Albert Pujols continued his power surge with a home run to left field in the fifth inning and a two-run shot to left in the eighth, giving the slugger five home runs in five games, 13 this season and his 49th multi-home run game.
And to think, Tampa Bay actually walked
The reason the Rays didn't want to mess with Trout? The Angels center fielder crushed a game-breaking three-run home run to left-center field in the third inning, giving him 13 home runs this season and a team-leading 30 runs batted in.
"Either way, it's a good situation for us," Scioscia said. "Both of those guys are elite players, and if you have to pick your poison, it just makes us better. … Albert is a special player, and when he finds it, he usually keeps it for long periods of time."
"The homers are coming because they're due," Scioscia said. "We have guys who we know can swing the bat and hit the ball out of the park, and they're getting pitches and hitting them well. That's something we were missing for the first six weeks of the season, for sure."
Richards was backed by a solid defense that featured several strong plays by shortstop