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Angels round up usual suspects to beat Rangers in series opener

Familiar Angels names come through in the first of a three-game set against AL West-leading Texas, as Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo homer and Jered Weaver is sharp over seven innings in a 6-1 victory.

July 21, 2012|By Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
  • Mark Trumbo his his 27th home run of the season during the 6th inning against the Rangers Friday night.
Mark Trumbo his his 27th home run of the season during the 6th inning against… (Alex Gallardo / Associated…)

In their long-running pursuit of the Texas Rangers, the Angels on Friday night relaunched their second-half effort at home by sending their ace pitcher to his place of comfort.

Jered Weaver won the tough moments in a game that had a must-win feel. Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout backed him with home runs, and an enthusiastic crowd at sold-out Angel Stadium rejoiced in a 6-1 victory.

The Angels (51-43) still trail two-time American League champion Texas (55-37) by five games, but this was the type of victory that revealed resolve.

"We knew," Trout said. ". . . Every game against them in this last stretch is big."

While Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton grounded into a bases-loaded double play in his defining moment, Trumbo pulled within one homer of Hamilton's American League lead in the category with his 27th of the season, a sixth-inning solo shot.

He then nearly ripped off Dino Ebel's hand as the third base coach congratulated him, an act that could be interpreted as, "We aren't backing down."

"I'm not really trying to rub anything in, but it's all right to show a little emotion in certain situations," Trumbo said.

The teams will square off six more times in the next 12 days.

"These guys are getting after it," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're confident that will continue."

Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each drove in two runs for the Angels.

Albert Pujols ignited a three-run fourth inning with a leadoff double to left-center against Texas starter Derek Holland, moved to third on Trumbo's smoked single off the shortstop's glove and scored on Kendrick's fielder's choice grounder to short.

Alberto Callaspo then singled and Aybar followed with a two-run double to left field for a 4-1 lead.

Holland (6-5) didn't strike out an Angel in 62/3 innings and gave up all six runs.

The Rangers' lone run came in the first when shortstop Elvis Andrus ended an 83-game homer-less stretch with a one-out shot over the left-field wall.

Weaver (12-1) has given up only four runs at home in 532/3 innings this season, and is now 8-0 against Texas in 14 Anaheim starts.

The right-hander started the night with the American League's lowest home earned-run average (0.58) through seven starts since 1921.

Trout is in pursuit of his own historic streak after reaching on a leadoff single and scoring on Kendrick's tying double in the first.

By scoring in his 12th consecutive game, Trout is one shy of Jim Edmonds' team record set in 1995, and also the American League rookie record set by St. Louis' Don Lenhardt in 1950 and Washington's Jake Powell in 1935.

The modern major league record for consecutive games with run scored is 18, by the Yankees' Red Rolfe in 1939 and Kenny Lofton with Cleveland in 2000.

Weaver pitched out of a second-and-third, no-out situation in the third. Ian Kinsler fouled out, then Andrus walked to bring up Hamilton with the bases loaded.

On a full count, Hamilton ripped a hard grounder to second baseman Kendrick, who started an inning-ending double play.

"You try to keep him off balance and locate," Weaver said. "Obviously it's exciting."

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