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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Angels' offense comes alive in 12-5 victory over Giants

Albert Pujols hits a three-run home run and Mike Trout finishes with four hits as the Angels win for the 19th time in 26 games.

June 19, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna

Maybe it was a return to sea level after an explosive three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies in mile-high Coors Field, or maybe it was part of the natural ebb and flow of the game, which often dictates a torrid hitting spree be followed by a cooling-off period.

Whatever the cause for their sluggish offense of late, the Angels were sick and tired of it, and they took out their frustrations Tuesday night in a 12-5 interleague victory over the San Francisco Giants at Angel Stadium.

Mike Trout had two doubles, two singles, a walk and four runs, Mark Trumbo had three hits and five runs batted in, and Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and an RBI single as the Angels set a season high for runs and won for the 19th time in 26 games.

"We had everything in this game, from Mike Trout getting on base five times, to situational hitting, to getting a sacrifice bunt down, to driving the ball out of the park," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was just a great offensive night, and Mike obviously set the tone at the top of the order."

Trout doubled and scored on Pujols' three-run homer in the first. He doubled and scored on Pujols' single in the second. He singled and scored on Trumbo's three-run triple in the fourth and walked and scored on Trumbo's two-run single in the eighth.

Trout had been stuck in a three-for-25 slump over six games, but his big night raised his average to .337 and his on-base percentage to .397. Though he wasn't promoted to the big leagues until April 27, the 20-year-old outfielder leads the team with 40 runs and has 22 extra-base hits, 19 stolen bases and 20 multihit games.

Trout is already the leading candidate for American League rookie-of-the-year honors, but is it premature to consider him one of the best players in the league?

"I think it's premature, but everyone sees the potential," Scioscia said. "To put a player in an elite group, you have to stand the test of time and do things consistently. But from when he's come up to what he's done now, you couldn't ask more from a player of any age. He's very talented, he's playing with confidence, and he just wants to go play baseball and let you guys talk about it."

C.J. Wilson, who as the Texas Rangers' ace lost Game 2 of the 2010 World Series in San Francisco, exacted some revenge on the Giants, surviving 10 hits in a 61/3-inning effort in which he gave up five runs -- three earned -- to improve to 8-4. The Angels improved to 9-2 when Wilson starts after a loss.

Perhaps the Angels were due for such an outburst. They scored 28 runs with 42 hits, including six homers, in their June 8-10 sweep of the Rockies, but even though they won four of their next seven, they scored only 14 runs, hitting .220 (49 for 223) overall and .125 (seven for 55) with runners in scoring position in those games.

They came out hacking Tuesday against Giants left-hander Barry Zito, scoring more runs in the first and fourth innings -- four each -- than they did in any of their previous seven games.

The Angels banged out 14 hits and needed most of them, as well as two superb defensive plays by Pujols at first base in the seventh inning, to keep San Francisco at a distance.

Buster Posey's RBI single off reliever LaTroy Hawkins pulled the Giants within 9-4 in the seventh, and they still had the bases loaded with one out when Angel Pagan ripped a grounder that appeared headed into the right-field corner.

But Pujols made a diving stop toward the line, scrambled to his feet and tagged first to get Pagan. Ryan Theriot scored to make it 9-5 and the other runners advanced. Pablo Sandoval followed with a liner toward Pujols, who made a leaping grab to end the inning.

"Those guys kept putting hits together, and we had to get into that prevent defense," Scioscia said. "Albert kept the momentum on our side. He got some big hits, and he took a couple of them away. He made an incredible play on Pagan's ball down the line. If that ball gets by him, that game gets real tight."

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

twitter.com/MikeDiGiovanna

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