Angels hitters back up Wilson
Mark Trumbo isn’t even halfway into his second major league season. Yet, he has been around baseball long enough not to have been fooled by the Angels’ slow start this season.
And long enough to know that the way the Angels have played lately is more than just a hot streak.
“Going into the season we knew we had a really good team,” Trumbo said after collecting a single and home run in the Angels’ 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. “I think this is exactly the type of team we expected to have. You’re really seeing right now how dynamic we can be if just all cylinders are going.”
The Angels were certainly firing on all cylinders Tuesday when, in the opener of a nine-game, three-city trip, they pounded out season highs for hits (17) and home runs (four). And it was a true team effort with every Angel contributing at least one hit, and six of them getting two or more.
That helped the team win for the fifth time in six games and 12th time in 16 tries. And you can go back even further than that because, since April 28, the Angels are a big league-best 35-19.
Yet, they may still just be getting warmed up.
“We have more slugging percentage in this team,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “And hopefully, as the season moves on, we’re going to start to see it. We’re getting contributions from all parts of our lineup.”
Tuesday that included the usual suspects -- Albert Pujols and Trumbo each homered -- and some unusual ones, with catcher John Hester collecting a career-high three hits, including a home run.
For Pujols, his fifth-inning blast, his 12th, was his first against Baltimore and first at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Including last fall’s World Series, Pujols has homered against every team except St. Louis, for which he played the first 11 years of his career, and has hit one in 32 big league stadiums.
Trumbo’s mammoth shot leading off the eighth inning was his team-leading 18th.
Hester’s resume isn’t quite as deep. But with 11 hits in 12 games this month, he’s batting a career-high .281. Even more important is the relationship he has developed with pitcher C.J. Wilson.
Hester has been behind the plate in Wilson’s last four starts and the left-hander has won three of them, posting a 1.91 earned-run average.
“I do feel like C.J. and I are on the same page more often than not. The results are there,” said Hester.
The Angels gave Wilson a 3-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning before Steve Pearce’s leadoff home run got the Orioles on the board. But that was all Wilson would give up in seven innings, raising his season record to 9-4, and 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA on the road.
But Wilson, who has won his last six decisions, said he struggled some Tuesday.
“My sinker was great the first couple of innings and then it checked out of the hotel and was gone to Toronto, I guess,” he said. “So we had to kind of adjust on the fly and try throwing more changeups and other pitches.”