ANAHEIM -- After his first grand slam lifted the Angels to a 10-8 comeback win over the A's on Wednesday, Cliff Pennington took time to relish the moment, but he still did not view his performance as the best offensive showing among his teammates. In his eyes, it was third,
ANAHEIM -- After his first grand slam lifted the Angels to a 10-8 comeback win over the A's on Wednesday, Cliff Pennington took time to relish the moment, but he still did not view his performance as the best offensive showing among his teammates. In his eyes, it was third, behind Michael Trout and Jose Pujols.
"I was actually joking with [Andrew] Heaney on the bench," Pennington said. "I was like, 'This is probably one of the games that you can put in the top 10 of your career, you hit a go-ahead grand slam. And there's two guys in this game who had better days.'"
While Pennington produced the game-winning hit in the seventh inning, Trout and Pujols did the bulk of the damage for the Angels, combining to score seven of the club's 10 runs. Trout, who returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with neck stiffness, went 4-for-4 with a walk and fell a double shy of the cycle. Pujols drove in four runs behind the 611th and 612th home runs of his career, tying Jim Thome for seventh on the all-time list.
"They do it all the time," Pennington said. "That's what they do."
In the first inning, Trout crushed a 444-foot solo home run off A's right-hander Kendall Graveman to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead and snap his 17 at-bat hitless streak, one of the longest droughts of his career.
"I was obviously missing some pitches before that, but I just relaxed a little bit tonight and didn't try to do too much," Trout said.
In his next at-bat in the third, Trout worked a one-out walk to set up Pujols' 20th home run of the season, a two-run shot to right-center field that pushed the Angels' lead to 3-0. With the blast, the 37-year-old slugger became the third player to ever tally at least 20 homers in 16 of his first 17 seasons, joining Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.
After Trout tripled in the fifth, Pujols struck again, launching another two-run homer to center field to collect his 1,900th career RBI and cut the A's lead to 8-5.
"Every night it feels like he passes somebody," Trout said. "It's pretty incredible. You look up there and see 1,900 RBIs, it's special to be a part of. I love it every time I look up there. It seems like every night he breaks a record."
While manager Mike Scioscia was pleased with the production from the Trout-Pujols tandem, he said he was more encouraged to see contributions from the entire Angels' lineup, which helped keep the club within one game of the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.
"Those guys had a great night," Scioscia said. "They're really important to us, no doubt about it, but we need to be more than them, and hopefully we will."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.