It's difficult enough for the
A rotation that leads the
It's no shock that the Angels, on the heels of a five-game winning streak, lost all five games, the latest Sunday's 6-2 clunker at the hands of the
"When you're not scoring runs, there is a premium on stopping runs," Manager
"A couple of guys on the offensive side have done what they can do, but you can have an incredible offense, and everything you do will still hinge on your rotation giving you a chance to get into the flow of the game."
Two months into the season, the Angels are 28-29 and in third place in the
Despite a recent power surge in which they've hit 20 home runs in 11 games, the Angels rank 26th in the major leagues with a .238 average and .299 on-base percentage and 25th with a .680 on-base-plus-slugging mark.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who hit consecutive home runs in the first inning Sunday, have combined for 31 home runs and 62 runs batted in, and Kole Calhoun (.266, five home runs, 25 RBIs),
But three key players —
"We need to step our game, we need to play more consistent baseball if we're going to reach our goal," Scioscia said. "We feel it's in this team. But we're making a turn through two months of the season, and some guys just haven't hit their stride. That's something we need to pay a lot of attention to."
The Angels' problems Sunday extended to the basepaths. They had a chance to extend a lead to 3-0 in the third inning when, with runners at first base and third base and one out, Freese lifted an apparent sacrifice fly into the right-field corner.
But Trout tagged from first base and was thrown out at second base by right fielder
"Two runs is not much of a lead in Yankee Stadium, but what hurts is that we didn't score that third run," Wilson said. "We were just very aggressive and got beat by an inch at second."
Scioscia called the play "a glitch," saying Trout "got a little aggressive on his end," and Aybar "got caught a little coming off third and anticipating scoring easy."
It was hard to fault the players, though.
"No one plays harder than Mike or Erick," Scioscia said. "It's really an anomaly that something like that would happen, but it did."
Said Trout: "When you're winning, you don't pick apart little things. When you lose, every little thing stands out."
Until the Angels can support solid pitching with a consistently productive offense, they won't have much margin for error.