Friday began with the Angels on a four-game losing streak and four players, Garrett Richards, Nick Tropeano, Zack Cozart and Jim Johnson, all placed on the disabled list.
They were in need of a break, and the schedule conveniently offered up the Oakland Athletics, who were just swept here by Houston.
Two early errors by the A’s helped the Angels score five times en route to an 8-4 win that didn’t feel even that close.
“They opened the door for us tonight and we took advantage,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “That’s what you need to do.”
The charity benefited Tyler Skaggs, in particular, the Angels starter giving up two unearned runs over seven innings, improving to 6-4 and lowering his ERA to 2.81.
Skaggs, who struck out eight and walked one, has won all three of his starts in June, surrendering just a single earned run in 20 innings. His six victories are a career-high for one season.
“It’s definitely a morale boost,” Skaggs said. “Jumping on them early like that, everybody plays a lot more relaxed.”
He pitched around consecutive singles leading off the fourth and was aided by three double plays. The only runs Skaggs allowed came after an error by shortstop Nolan Fontana.
Offensively, it was more of the same for the Angels, which is to say it was a lot of Mike Trout, who had three singles, a sacrifice fly and a walk and scored twice.
Since he went hitless in five at-bats and stranded eight runners Sunday in Minnesota, Trout is 10 for 14 with four homers and seven RBIs. Over the last four games, he has walked as many times (four) as he made an out. He has raised his average to .323 and his league-leading on-base percentage to .450.
Ian Kinsler hit his ninth homer and drove in two runs and rookie catcher Jose Briceno had three hits.
Lamb starts today
John Lamb was once a promising prospect, a 2008 fifth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals out of Laguna Hills High.
When he starts for the Angels on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Tropeano, it will be his first big league game in nearly two years.
“He’s been throwing the ball very well down at triple A,” Scioscia said. “Hopefully, he’ll come up here and give us a chance to win.”
Lamb, 27, most recently appeared in the majors on July 16, 2016, with Cincinnati. That day, he gave up nine runs in two innings.
The Angels officially have agreed to terms with 23 of their draft picks, including eight of their first 10.