MILWAUKEE -- Mike Trout's tying home run sparked the Angels' four-run rally in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 7-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park, as the Angels finished a 2-4 road trip by avoiding a three-game sweep.
Zach Davies delivered a quality start for the Brewers, and Hernan Perez homered before scoring the go-ahead run on a sixth-inning wild pitch for a 3-2 Milwaukee lead that lasted into the eighth.
But Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg couldn't hold it, allowing a walk and three hits, including Trout's home run on an 0-2 pitch and pinch-hitter C.J. Cron's go-ahead double. After 31 Thornburg pitches, Blaine Boyer took over and surrendered a two-run single to Johnny Giavotella, also on an 0-2 pitch.
"It's huge," Trout said of the late rally. "Obviously, every win's big. It may not seem like it is because it's obviously May, but if you look back in September, these are the games that matter most. We're swinging the bat well. It's good to put some runs on the board."
Trout finished 2-for-4 and was 7-for-13 in the series with seven RBIs. Cole Calhoun chipped in three hits, including an RBI single for insurance in the ninth inning. Joe Smith covered the final two frames for his second save.
"It's always frustrating when you've got a lead late that you let slip away," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, "but we played a good series."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
All about Trout: Trout gave the Angels their first lead with his first triple of the year in the third, then tied the game with his team-leading seventh home run in the eighth off Thornburg. Trout is now batting .407 (22-for-54) with six homers and 18 RBIs over his last 14 games, providing a big boost to an Angels offense still waiting on several key contributors to get going. His OPS for the season is .996.
"I feel good at the plate," Trout said. "I just made some slight adjustments [like] getting the foot down. I'm seeing pitches like I should be and not missing pitches." More >
Fool me once...: Thornburg also faced Trout with a one-run lead in the eighth inning on Tuesday, and caught the Angels star looking at a curveball for a critical strikeout on the way to a 5-4 Brewers win. Trout won the rematch, getting just enough of a curveball in an 0-2 count to send it over the fence in right field, where a party area provides hitters a short porch. It marked only the second time in Thornburg's 11 appearances that the right-hander was charged with a run.
"I thought I had a lot of different options I could have gone with, a lot of different choices, a lot of different ways I could have got him out," Thornburg said. "I just didn't make a pitch." More >
Bull(ish)pen: The Angels have now gone seven consecutive days without a starting pitcher completing six innings, but their bullpen has stepped up to carry the load. Hector Santiago lasted only 5 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and four walks, but relievers Cam Bedrosian, Fernando Salas and Smith kept the Brewers scoreless the rest of the way. Smith converted a six-out save, the first by an Angels reliever since Ernesto Frieri on Sept. 15, 2013. The Angels' bullpen has a 1.65 ERA over the last 14 games.
"They've been doing a really good job," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We need it, and we need it to continue. Our challenge right now is to keep these guys fresh, but also understanding the importance of guys who come in and get outs. We're going to have to balance that." More >
Making a lot from a little: Perez had a big homestand for the Brewers despite limited opportunities. He hit his first home run of the season against the Marlins on Saturday, made a terrific defensive play at third base in the ninth inning to help secure Tuesday's one-run win over the Angels, then homered again and scored the go-ahead run on Wednesday. With two outs in the sixth and the teams tied at 2, Perez alertly broke home when Bedrosian's curveball skipped away from Angels catcher Geovany Soto, giving the Brewers a 3-2 lead on a run charged to Santiago.
"Since he's come up, he's done a fabulous job," Counsell said. "Last year, he had some success against left-handed pitching, and it looks like that's continuing."
"What's going on here? Are they giving him extra points for every hit that he gets?" -- Santiago, on Trout's batting average going up so quickly
"I tried to go out there and really catch them a little sleepy and establish the fastball early, trying to go after them a little bit more. ... Any time you go out there and improve upon the things that you've struggled with in the past a little bit, it gives you a little reassurance that you can go out there and do it. -- Davies, on his first quality start of the season
SANTANA SITS AGAIN FOR CREW
The Brewers did not have their regular outfield alignment for any of the three games against the Angels. For the second time in the series, right fielder Domingo Santana was scratched from the lineup with soreness behind his right shoulder, which manager Craig Counsell continued to characterize as minor. Santana is day-to-day.
Angels: The Angels are off on Thursday, then start a three-game series against the Rays from Southern California, with Friday's first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Garrett Richards lines up to start that game, opposite Rays ace Chris Archer, but the Angels weren't certain if he'd take the ball as of Wednesday. He exited Sunday's start against the Rangers because of dehydration and cramping, and he did not throw his between-starts bullpen session at Miller Park.
Brewers: The teams with baseball's two highest staff ERAs will meet in Cincinnati beginning at 6:10 p.m. CT on Thursday for the first of four games. Chase Anderson, coming off three consecutive losses in which he has allowed 28 total hits, including six home runs, gets the start for Milwaukee.
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