The Angels are still waiting for an offense that ranked second in the major leagues with an .844 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in spring training to emerge — through six regular-season games, they are batting .203 with 12 runs and a .179 average (seven for 39) with runners in scoring position.
But at least they timed their hits — and some outs — well on Sunday, bunching three of their seven hits in the third inning and using two productive outs to eke out a 3-1 win over Texas.
Johnny Giavotella and Yunel Escobar singled off Rangers starter Martin Perez to open the third, and both runners advanced on Craig Gentry's bunt. Mike Trout's run-scoring dribbler to third and Albert Pujols' RBI single to left gave the Angels a 2-0 lead.
The Angels tacked on a run in the seventh when Geovany Soto singled, Escobar walked, Gentry was hit by a pitch and Trout hit a sacrifice fly to right for a 3-1 lead.
Relievers Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street combined to give up one hit and strike out four in three scoreless innings to preserve the win for Jered Weaver.
Tyler Skaggs took another significant step in his return from reconstructive elbow surgery Sunday, giving up one earned run and three hits, striking out one and walking two for triple-A Salt Lake against Sacramento. It was the left-hander's first competitive game since he hurt his elbow July 31, 2014.
Skaggs struggled with his command for two innings but looked sharp in the third. Two of the three hits he gave up were bunt singles. His fastball was clocked from 92 to 94 mph, and of his 42 pitches, 26 were strikes.
Skaggs will need at least three or four more minor league starts before being considered for the Angels rotation, but with the team looking to limit him to between 165-175 innings, he may get some extra rest between starts.
The Rangers absorbed a pair of body blows Sunday when right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo (right-calf strain) and catcher Robinson Chirinos (fractured right forearm) were placed on the disabled list.
Chirinos, injured when he was hit by a Garrett Richards pitch Saturday, will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks. Choo, hurt while running in the outfield before Saturday's game, will be out for four to six weeks.
Called up from triple A were highly touted prospect Nomar Mazara, who singled twice and homered on Sunday, and catcher Brett Nicholas. Mazara, who turns 21 on April 26, is the youngest player in the major leagues.
The Angels claimed hard-throwing right-hander Danny Reynolds off waivers from Houston and sent him to double-A Arkansas, where he pitched most of the last two seasons. Reynolds, 24, spent six years in the Angels farm system before being claimed by the Dodgers and then the Astros last December.
Scioscia expects Daniel Nava (lacerated left index finger) to start in left field against Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray on Monday night.