Seven victories, seven quality starts, 65 runs and 107 hits later, the Angels are in first place and riding a wave of momentum into the All-Star break, their 10-3 victory over the
Only one other day this season — April 17 — have the Angels been alone in first place.
"There is a lot of stuff that has gone on this year, things that could have derailed some teams, but we haven't let them become a distraction," reliever
The Angels have been very good at their jobs lately. Despite being shut out Saturday, an offense that struggled for three months outscored Texas, Colorado and Seattle, 65-30, on the trip. Of those 107 hits, 37 went for extra bases, including 16 home runs. The Angels scored 10 runs or more in four games.
They scored multiple runs in 15 of 81 innings, including Sunday's six-run, sixth-inning, which was highlighted by
"It feels good," center fielder
Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun have done their usual damage, but the Angels are getting significant contributions from shortstop
Aybar hit .531 (17 for 32) with five doubles and nine runs on the trip and is batting .421 (32 for 76) since June 19, raising his average from .246 to .287. Giavotella is hitting .343 (23 for 67) in his last 16 games.
In 10 games since being recalled from triple A on June 29, Cron is batting .459 (17 for 37) with four home runs, three doubles and 12 runs batted in. He had a .204 average, one home run and six RBIs in the first three months, in which he was demoted to Salt Lake twice.
"A lot of guys played up to what they're capable of on this trip, and it showed," Iannetta said. "For a long time, we were trying to be ourselves, and we were a little short. Now, guys are falling into normal routines and normal patterns, and a lot of runs are being put on the board."
Angels pitchers are also keeping runs off the board, with left-hander
Heaney appears to have strong-armed his way into a rotation spot, going 3-0 with a 1.32 earned-run average, 23 strikeouts and four walks in 27 1/3 innings of four starts since replacing the injured Jered Weaver in late June.
Weaver (left-hip inflammation) should be ready to return after the break, leaving Manager
Neither Garrett Richards nor