Santiago, Angels bounce back for 7-0 win over Rangers
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mike Trout had everyone spoiled for so long that when he finally found himself in a home run drought of sizable proportions - at least by his standards - it came as a relief for himself and the Los Angeles Angels when it finally ended.
The reigning AL MVP snapped a career-worst 27-game dry spell with a first-inning solo shot against Colby Lewis on Sunday, igniting a 7-0 victory over the Texas Rangers.
''Is it a weight off your shoulders, because people kind of expect you to hit some home runs,'' Trout said. ''But I can't think about that. Obviously, I'm not trying to do it - because once you try to hit homers, you're going to get in trouble.''
Trout went the other way with an 0-1 pitch, barely clearing the yellow line atop the 18-foot wall in right field.
''Yeah, it felt good,'' he said.'' Like I told you guys last night, I've been barreling the ball, but they just weren't going over the fence. But I put a good swing on a ball today, barreled it, and it went over.''
It was the reigning AL MVP's 34th homer this season and first in a span of 96 at-bats since his solo shot off Baltimore's Kevin Gausman on Aug. 7 at the ''Big A.'' He hit a career-high 36 last year.
''I thought I made a good pitch to Trout, a guy who hadn't hit a home run in a month,'' Lewis said. ''It was a fastball down and away. That's my strength. But he hit it out.''
Hector Santiago (8-9) pitched six innings of one-hit ball for his first victory in seven weeks, helping give manager Mike Scioscia his 1,400th regular-season win.
Scioscia, who has guided the Angels to six AL West championships and a World Series title during his 16 seasons in the job, surpassed Wilbert Robertson for 27th place on the career win list and became the 10th manager to reach 1,400 victories with one club.
''We've had good players and good teams here and had an opportunity to be here a while, but I think it speaks much more toward the organization than anything I've done,'' Scioscia said. ''These guys have played hard, so we've been able to be here a while and get some wins.''
A one-out double in the second inning by Rougned Odor was the Rangers' only hit against the effectively wild Santiago, who issued a career-high six walks and struck out three.
The left-hander bailed himself out with inning-ending double plays in each of the first two frames - the second of which he started by snaring a line drive by Chris Gimenez and doubling off Odor at second base with two men in scoring position.
''For some reason, I pitch better with guys on base and I bear down,'' Santiago said. ''Today, every single inning there was somebody on.. But it was a good battle for me. I needed this one for sure, where I can show that I can still get guys out even if I put them on base.''
Shin-Soo Choo's infield single in the eighth against Mike Morin was the only other hit by the Rangers, who were shut out for the ninth time. It was the 12th shutout by the Angels' staff.
''We've struggled this road trip and haven't been able to gain some traction, offensively,'' manager Jeff Banister said. ''But this is an offense that has been formidable for us. And I do know that when it comes, it'll come in bunches for us.''
Santiago is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA in four starts against Texas this season, including a 13-0 win on July 4 at Arlington in which he held the Rangers to three hits over seven innings.
Colby Lewis (14-8) failed for the third time to establish a new career high for wins, allowing seven runs - six earned - and 10 hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander is 1-3 with an 8.31 ERA in four starts against the Angels this season.
Rangers: CF and leadoff hitter Delino DeShields did not play because of soreness in his torso, which was caused by a checked swing in the ninth inning of Saturday night's 2-1 win. . RHP Tanner Scheppers, who had been sidelined by inflammation in his left knee, was reinstated from the disabled list to shore up a bullpen depleted by RHP Keone Kela's elbow injury.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (11-9) gets the assignment Monday afternoon in the opener of a four-game series at Seattle.
Angels: Rookie RHP Nick Tropeano (1-2) opposes major league ERA leader Zack Greinke Monday night the opener of a three-game series at the ''Big A,'' as the Halos try to avenge a three-game sweep by Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.