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Mark Trumbo homers twice in Angels' 6-1 victory

He has four hits and drives in four runs to back the pitching of Garrett Richards, who gets his first major league win when giving up only four hits in seven innings against the Mariners.

June 05, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna

June gloom was in full bloom for Mark Trumbo, who followed a torrid May in which he hit .367 with seven homers and 18 runs batted in with one hit in his first 16 at-bats this month, including a dreadful four-strikeout game Monday night.

Then Tuesday night in Angel Stadium the fog — or was it the marine layer? — suddenly lifted for the slugger, who had four hits, including a solo home run and a two-run shot, to lead the Angels to a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The first multi-homer game of Trumbo's career, as well as his RBI single in the third inning, backed the superb pitching of rookie right-hander Garrett Richards, who gave up one run and four hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked two for his first major league victory.

"Monday night was probably the worst game statistically that I've ever played, and tonight was probably my best," said Trumbo, who ranks third in the American League with a .337 average, leads the Angels with 12 homers and is tied with Albert Pujols for the team lead with 31 RBIs.

"You think about it for a while, but if you dwell on it and let it carry over, it wouldn't do you any good. I chased too many pitches Monday night. Tonight, I used the whole field, and I didn't chase."

Trumbo's last whiff Monday night stung the most. It came with runners on second and third and two outs in the eighth inning of an 8-6 loss.

Trumbo seemed eager to eliminate that sour taste from his mouth Tuesday night. He swung at the first pitch he saw from Seattle starter Blake Beavan and drove it over the center-field wall in the second inning for a solo home run. Torii Hunter followed with a homer to left for a 2-0 lead.

The Mariners cut it to 2-1 in the third on Michael Saunders' homer, but the Angels answered with four consecutive two-out singles in the bottom of the third, Pujols and Trumbo driving in the runs, to make it 4-1.

Pujols flared a one-out double to right in the fifth, and Trumbo drove an 0-and-2 slider over the wall in center for a 6-1 lead.

"It was a great bounce-back night for Mark, and all in all, it was a good night on the offensive side," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Those early runs are important, especially for a young pitcher trying to get his feet on the ground."

Richards, 24, who replaced the injured Jered Weaver in the rotation, walked 23 in his last six starts for triple-A Salt Lake but showed superb command of his fastball, which consistently hit 95 mph, and his slider Tuesday night.

He struck out the side in the second inning and allowed only one other runner besides Saunders to reach third base, subduing a Mariners club that had scored 55 runs over its previous six games, including three games with 10 or more runs.

"It feels great," Richards said of his first major league win. "It doesn't feel real right now. It's one of those things that I'll recognize the next day. But it's good to get the first one out of the way. I couldn't ask anything more of the guys. They put up some runs and made my job a little easier."

Scioscia was aware of Richards' walk totals at Salt Lake, "but the scouting reports said he was around the zone and that he was just missing," the manager said. "They were right on the money, because he was around the zone all night."

A more aggressive mind-set helped Richards Tuesday.

"I felt I was nibbling too much at triple A," he said. "Tonight, I just trusted my stuff and attacked hitters."

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

twitter.com/MikeDiGiovanna

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