The final score seemed almost comical, the Angels pulling away for a 13-7 victory over Texas that featured Mike Trout's game-breaking grand slam and ensuing curtain call, another strong start by left-hander Andrew Heaney and a Keystone Kops-like effort from the Rangers defense, which committed three errors.
Three and a half innings into the contest, though, there was nothing funny about the Angels' position. In danger of losing four in a row at home for the first time since August 2013, they trailed, 2-1.
Heaney was struggling at the moment, hitting two batters, walking another and needing 30 pitches to get through the fourth. Trout was grabbing his wrist and grimacing in pain. And Erick Aybar and Matt Joyce were sprawled out on the left-field turf, one briefly unconscious.
With a man on first and one out, Elvis Andrus hit a sinking line drive to center. Trout, charging in, dived for the ball and twisted his left wrist, jamming it against the outfield turf as the ball bounced away.
He immediately came up clutching his hand but after a brief visit from the Angels trainers, remained in the game. Trout continued to show discomfort later in the inning, taking off his glove and squeezing his wrist between pitches.
"It's just a scary thing for me," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. It hurt pretty bad. It scared me more than anything. But once I got up there and moved it around, it was just a little sore and I was able to stay in the game."
Four batters later, Delino DeShields lofted a popup into shallow left field. From a distance, Heaney said he could tell Aybar and Joyce were headed for a collision. At the last second, Joyce started to slide and took a thigh to the chin from Aybar, who managed to hold on for the catch.
Both stayed down for a few minutes, with Aybar eventually standing up and leaving with what Manager Mike Scioscia described as a charley horse. Aybar remained in the game and finished with two runs batted in and a single in four at-bats.
But Joyce was knocked out, at least for a few seconds, and he said after the game he could not remember walking back to the dugout. Once he made it there, he was tested for a concussion.
"They didn't ask me about the presidents, but they did ask me random questions," Joyce said of the concussion test. "Answered about half of them right, don't know if that's good. I have a headache, some sensitivity to light and sound, but otherwise feel OK."
He was diagnosed with a mild concussion, and appears headed to the seven-day concussion list.
At that point, Trout had been the Angels' lone source of offense, homering in the bottom of the first on a 90-mph fastball down in the zone. He went to the opposite field, just barely clearing the right-field fence.
In the bottom of the fifth, he came to bat again with a runner on first. Trout took the first three pitches, then ripped a line drive to left field for a single, reassuring Angels fans that he was fine.
In fact, he was better than just fine. With the bases loaded in the sixth, he stepped to the plate to chants of "M-V-P." Again he got a hold of a low 90-mph fastball and sent it straight into a "Trout Net" held by a fan in the right-center-field bleachers.
With the two home runs, Trout broke the franchise record for fewest games needed to hit 30 home runs with 98, besting Troy Glaus' former mark of 100. He also became one of 14 players in MLB history to have four 30-home run seasons before his age 24 season. Trout finished with five RBIs and three runs for the game, tying season highs in both categories.
As the crowd roared its appreciation after the grand slam, Trout came out of the dugout for a curtain call, doffing his helmet to the 38,539 in attendance.
"I think our fans understand what they're looking at," Scioscia said. "This guy's a special player, a special talent. And when Mike does something special like that, even though it doesn't happen here very often, you just got to tip your cap and acknowledge it."
The Angels are off Monday. Left-hander C.J. Wilson (8-7, 3.59 ERA) will oppose Houston right-hander Collin McHugh (11-5, 4.25) at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday at 5 p.m. PDT. TV: FS West; Radio: 830, 1330.