The Los Angeles Angels started to show the character of a team many fans expected to see all season with their 3-1 series win over the Seattle Mariners this week. The victories were highlighted by a victory last night, in which the Angels rallied from a seven run deficit to stun the Mariners 10-9.
Down seven runs with Felix Hernandez on the mound, the Angels clawed, hit, and eventually walked home to victory. The comeback took in contributions from almost the entire roster, the second-largest comeback in their franchise history.
Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo each homered for the Angels. Bourjos, who I talked about in my previous article as a critical piece for the Angels success, finished with an additional three hits, and also scored the game-tying run.
Mike Trout finished with four hits for the team, and Albert Pujols had two hits and drove in the tying run in the 6th inning. The team even finished last night tying the franchise record for consecutive hits with seven in a single game.
After Tommy Hanson got chased from the game after a little more than two innings, many fans were thinking ‘here we go again.’ However, the resiliency demonstrated in the comeback victory can take a team places; perhaps towards a winning streak. After somewhat woeful play for three months of the season, this team seems poised for a roll in the coming weeks as they battle to get near .500 at 33-40.
The positives the Angels can take from the series are a plenty.
Joe Blanton, in his start on Tuesday, gave up back to back home-runs early in the game, leaving fans wondering if they were about to see his 12th loss of the season. But, the right-hander settled in, delivering his best start of the season, only allowing those two runs while striking out 11. The Angels did lose the game in extras, but the front office and Mike Scoiscia had to be happy with the quality start from Blanton, who’s been far from average this season.
The Angels showed once again their pitching could hold up in a 1-0 victory Wednesday night. CJ Wilson threw seven shutout innings, Scott Downs pitched a scoreless 8th, and Ernesto Frieri came on for the save. Of course Mike Trout scored the only run in that game. Not to mention he’s batting .542 in his last seven games.
On Monday night, Pujols went 4-5 with a run scored and an RBI in another offensive explosion for the Angels: an 11-3 win. Pujols is now heating up for the Angels, batting .333 for the month of June. The rest of the league better watch out.
The only negative to take away from the series is the continued miserable play from Josh Hamilton. The $125 million slugger went 0 for 4 last night, and earlier in the week went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and grounded into three double plays. His average for the season now sits at .207. Luckily for Hamilton, the rest of the team is picking up his slack.
The Angels take the field this weekend seeking to continue their hot play in June with a three game series to end their homestand with the Pittsburgh Pirates.