07/22 20:41 CDT Trout drives in teammate for 1st time in month; Angels romp
Trout drives in teammate for 1st time in month; Angels romp
By DAN GREENSPAN
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) --- Mike Trout may have finally broken out of his slump.
The two-time American League MVP drove in a teammate for the first time in more
than a month, homering to cap a seven-run burst in seventh inning for the
Angels in a 14-5 rout of the Houston Astros on Sunday.
"It was nice just to see some guys put some really good swings on balls and get
some good momentum, some good vibes going. But it's only for today. We got to
be able to carry that over moving forward and we got to do it a lot more
often," said Andrew Heaney (6-6), who won his fourth consecutive home start.
With their superstar leading the way, the Angels set a season high for runs and
stopped a three-game losing streak.
Trout hit his 26th home run, a drive off Chris Devenski that followed Andrelton
Simmons' single. Trout's only RBIs since June 19 had been solo homers off
Baltimore's David Hess on June 29 and against the Los Angeles Dodgers' Ross
Stripling on July 7.
Trout singled in the first ending streaks of 16 plate appearances and 11
at-bats without a hit.
David Fletcher had a two-run single in the big inning, Kole Calhoun greeted
Devenski with a three-run homer and Ian Kinsler hit a solo homer in the eighth
off J.D. Davis, an outfielder and corner infielder. A pitcher at Cal
State-Fullerton, Davis had two mound appearances for the Astros in lopsided
losses last year.
Houston had not allowed double-digit runs since a 13-12, 10-inning win over the
Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series and gave up its most runs since a 14-6
defeat at Detroit on July 29, 2016.
Lance McCullers Jr. (10-5) gave up five runs, six hits and five walks in 4 1/3
innings. He became the first Astros pitcher to walk five or more in consecutive
starts since Erik Bedard in July 2013.
"From the onset I think Lance was battling himself a little bit," Astros
manager AJ Hinch said. "Didn't quite put the finish put-away curve balls like
he normally does, but you're not going to have a game like this and not have
everybody have a little bit of a bad day."
Davis put the Astros ahead with an RBI single in the second, but Kinsler hit an
RBI double in the bottom half that scored Shohei Ohtani and then came home on
Luis Valbuena's single.
It was Valbuena's second hit and first RBI since July 4, setting the tone to
end a four-game home losing streak to the division leaders.
But the Angels recognize that a one-off performance, no matter how eye-popping,
does them no good at this point in the season. Los Angeles got back to .500 in
its 100th game, trailing Seattle by 10 for the second wild card spot and 15
back of Houston.
"We got to be able to carry that over moving forward and we got to do it a lot
more often," said Heaney, who allowed one run, four hits and two walks in six
innings. "It's time to get going. We're not in any position to be able to sit
back and look at this one fondly. We got to do it day in and day out."
Catcher Jose Briceno was the only Angels batter who failed to record a hit,
going 0 for 4. The rest of the lineup was 15 for 32.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (back) has resumed baseball activities following a
setback in his recovery, Hinch said.
Angels: RHP Jim Johnson was activated off the DL after missing 32 games because
of a strained muscle in his back. RHP Taylor Cole was optioned to Triple-A Salt
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (10-2, 2.52 ERA) is 6-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 10 road
starts this year going into Tuesday's outing at Colorado.
Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (5-6, 3.55) is 0-5 in six starts and winless since
June 1 heading into Monday's start against the Chicago White Sox.