ANAHEIM -- As the Reds visited Angel Stadium for the first time since 2002, the Angels' hitters pounced quickly to make it an unpleasant experience. Familiar faces like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols provided two of their five home runs as they rolled to a 9-2 victory on Monday night.The
ANAHEIM -- As the Reds visited Angel Stadium for the first time since 2002, the Angels' hitters pounced quickly to make it an unpleasant experience. Familiar faces like Mike Trout and Albert Pujols provided two of their five home runs as they rolled to a 9-2 victory on Monday night.
The Angels have won three straight games and five of their last six, while the Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games.
Trout and Pujols hit back-to-back homers off Dan Straily in the first inning, and C.J. Cron and Jefry Marte cleared the fences in the third. Kole Calhoun led off the fourth inning vs. Alfredo Simon with another homer, as the Angels scored nine unanswered runs following Joey Votto's two-run shot against Matt Shoemaker in the top of the first.
Not only did Trout, Cron, Marte and Calhoun each finish a triple shy of hitting for the cycle in their three-hit nights, they combined to score seven runs. Pujols scored the other two runs.
Shoemaker pitched seven innings and gave up two earned runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts to win his third straight start for the first time since 2014.
Straily was done after 2 2/3 innings having allowed seven runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
"Very unusual night for Dan, and especially from what we've seen of him in the second half," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He threw strikes, really up until the last hitter, the only guy he walked. He challenged hitters in the zone and they were on him. … Dan really hasn't had a game like that this year for us. He'll just get back on the beam the next time around."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Back to back: When Trout (with a man aboard) and Pujols launched home runs in the first inning, it was the fifth time the Angels had gone back to back this season. It was the third time involving Trout and Pujols, the last on Aug. 24 at Toronto, Shoemaker's last start. Pujols' 586th career homer tied Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for ninth all-time.
"There's always a footnote when (Pujols) does something," manager Mike Scioscia said."It's been fun to be around him. He's having another terrific season. He's driving the ball. He's a tough out. We need him." More >
Straily's nice streak ends: The Reds came in having won each of Straily's last eight starts, with the right-hander going 6-0 with a 1.98 ERA in those games. But it was clear he did not have it from the get-go on Monday, as the Angels made loud contact beyond the four homers he allowed -- which was one fewer than his previous total for the month. It was his shortest start of the season and the second time in three games a Reds starter endured an outing shorter than three innings.
"I just didn't have it tonight," Straily said. "I just wasn't able to get the job done. It's really that simple. There's no panic button, there's no nothing. It just wasn't my night. I'm happy that it's one game."
Five fine years, and counting: Trout's first-inning homer was his 25th this season, the fifth time in five years the 25-year-old has hit that number. The only other players to do so by their age-25 seasons were Robinson and Eddie Mathews. Trout also scored his 100th run of 2016 in the third inning, giving him five seasons in a row with 100 or more. He is the only player to have done so by his age-25 season, and he joins Pujols as the only players with 25 homers and 100 runs in each of their first five seasons.
"It's always special," Trout said of Pujols. "Being in the same sentence with him, it's just unbelievable. His presence in the clubhouse helps everyone, every day."
Peraza injured: Reds shortstop José Peraza was struck in the side of his face by a Shoemaker pickoff throw to first base in the third inning and exited the game. Peraza, who had reached on a single, was sliding headfirst back to the base when Shoemaker's throw hit him on the right side of his head with no helmet flap. He spent several moments down before walking off the field and was replaced by Zack Cozart.
"I'm sure it's painful, but I don't think it's something right now that we see as serious," Price said. More >
"We're going to have to find a way to get through the next two days and get a couple of competitive starts. If not, then we're going to have to ask guys to pitch a little more who are in lower-inning roles. But we have guys that are stretched out. I'd hate to have to use [Raisel] Iglesias for a bunch of innings to bridge the gap in a game where the starter was out early. We'll pitch with what we have. -- Price, when asked whether the Reds would need to summon another long reliever after Simon was used for 4 1/3 innings of relief after Straily's exit
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Monday marked the Reds' first visit to Angel Stadium since June 9, 2002. At 14-plus years, it's MLB's second-longest drought between two teams at one site. The Reds have not played the Twins in Minnesota since July 8, 2001.
Votto's homer was his 22nd of the season. He's is the sixth Reds player to hit at least 22 homers in a season seven times, joining Johnny Bench, Robinson, Jay Bruce, Adam Dunn and George Foster.
Reds: When the series continues at 10:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Tim Adleman (2-1, 3.68 ERA) will be counted on to provide a deeper start for the Reds. The rookie right-hander has pitched five innings in each of his two starts since returning from the disabled list.
Angels:Jered Weaver (9-11, 5.31 ERA) will start the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. The veteran right-hander had a six-inning no-decision (two hits, one earned run) on Opening Day 2013 in Cincinnati in his only career start against the Reds.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com based in Anaheim.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.