Trout drives in teammate for 1st time in month; Angels romp
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 Lake.
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.