Saturday, May 5, 2012
3 up, 3 down: Angels 6, Blue Jays 2
By Blair Angulo
ANAHEIM -- No Albert Pujols, no problem for the Angels.
Manager Mike Scioscia gave the struggling first baseman his first off-day of the season Saturday and the Angels looked just fine without him, beating the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-2. Mark Trumbo, who filled in at first base, cranked his fourth home run.
Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson, the team's other big offseason signing, struck out nine in eight innings to earn his fourth win.
Upstream. The Angels had not received a home run out of the No. 1 spot in their order this year until Mike Trout launched a moonshot to left-center field for the go-ahead run in the fifth. It was his first homer in eight games since being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he hit a scorching .403 through 20 games.
Thievery. The 20-year-old Trout showed exactly why he's considered one of the fastest players in baseball. Yes, the rookie is hitting a mere .231 but his struggles at the plate haven't carried over to the defensive side, where his speed alone is worth the price of admission. Trout robbed J.P. Arencibia of a base hit in the third inning, racing in from deep center to make a diving snag.
The other Wilson. Backup catcher Bobby Wilson, in the starting lineup for the third straight night while Chris Iannetta nursed a sore wrist, drove in the game's first run with a sharp single to left in the second inning. It snapped the team's 23-inning scoreless streak.
Rally killer. Kyle Drabek had just walked a pair of batters, thrown two to the screen and bounced seemingly every pitch that left his hand in the fourth. But in stepped Erick Aybar, who proceeded to bounce into an inning-ending, rally-killing double play on the second pitch he saw.
Excluded. Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter were the only Angels not to record base hits. Kendrick struck out swinging with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
Stranded. The Angels left 12 runners on base Saturday, and Scioscia will be the first to tell you they won't win many games by doing that.