PITTSBURGH -- Twenty-five of the 49 men who came to bat reached base, every single position player starter recorded at least one hit and seven runs were scored before the end of the fourth inning. The Angels put together one of this season's most impressive, complete offensive performances in a
PITTSBURGH -- Twenty-five of the 49 men who came to bat reached base, every single position player starter recorded at least one hit and seven runs were scored before the end of the fourth inning. The Angels put together one of this season's most impressive, complete offensive performances in a 9-2 thrashing of the Pirates on Friday night -- and it was only the latest in a recent string of them.
The Angels have averaged 5.06 runs per game since the start of May, the fourth-highest total in the Major Leagues during that span.
• Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Trout, Pujols and other #ASGWorthy Angels
They're doing it with two regulars (Rafael Ortega and Gregorio Petit) who spent the vast majority of the last four years in the Minor Leagues. And a catcher (Carlos Perez) with a lifetime on-base percentage of .284. And a second baseman (Johnny Giavotella) who didn't become a regular until his age-27 season.
"There was a lot of people writing us off early, and maybe they still are," said Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun, who hit a 428-foot home run in the fourth. "But I think everybody in here was confident that the offense can at least repeat what we did last year. We still have a lot of ball left to play, and I think that still remains to be seen. But as of right now, we're playing well."
The Angels, playing their first game at PNC Park in 12 years, drew 10 walks for only the 70th time in club history. They strung together 15 hits, with six of their players -- Yunel Escobar, Mike Trout, Calhoun, Giavotella, Perez and Shane Robinson, a lifetime .235 hitter -- recording at least two of them. And they scored three runs before committing their first out, ultimately forcing Pirates starter Francisco Liriano to exit in the fourth inning.
Trout, who reached base four times, boasts an American League-leading .424 on-base percentage.
Giavotella, 2-for-5 with a two-run single in the top of the first, is batting .336 since the start of May, tops among AL second basemen.
Escobar and Calhoun, a combined 4-for-10 with four RBIs and three runs scored, have been on base 37 percent of the time from the top of the lineup.
Albert Pujols, who reached three times in the series opener, is batting .304/.402/.532 since May 12.
"You're not going to score nine runs every night," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "but we're doing things on the offensive side that are more along the lines of what we had wanted to see coming out of Spring Training. We're doing a lot of that now, and have been for the last few weeks."
Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.