Angels' offensive onslaught continues vs. Rox
DENVER -- OK, seriously, what has gotten into this Angels' offense?
"Who knows," Chris Iannetta said after a 10-2 win over the Rockies at Coors Field on Tuesday, which gave the Angels 43 runs over the course of a four-game winning streak.
"Unbelievable" is what Mike Trout called it, because there's no other way to describe a surge like this from a team that spent the first three-plus months of this season struggling mightily to score runs.
When the Angels arrived at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on Friday, they were tied for 23rd in the Majors in runs per game (3.84) and 22nd in OPS (.685). They were Trout, Albert Pujols and little else, the depth of their lineup a major reason -- basically the only reason -- they had yet to take off.
Then they scored six runs in the second inning on Friday, six runs in the sixth inning on Saturday, 12 runs in the first five innings on Sunday and 10 runs in the first three innings on Tuesday -- a day off doing nothing to cool their hot bats.
They've scored more runs in these last four games than they have in their previous 12.
"Some of it might be cyclical," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, his team seven games above .500 and 2 1/2 games out of first place. "If you look at our lineup, some guys underachieved for the first part of the season. They've made some adjustments."
None more than Matt Joyce and Iannetta, now six and seven points away, respectively, from putting their batting averages at .200.
Joyce gave the Angels a 4-0 lead with a leadoff homer to straightaway center field in the second, an inning after Pujols' three-run shot gave the slugging first baseman 18 in his last 36 games. It was Joyce's first home run since May 30, but he has a .362 on-base percentage over his past 44 games and has looked more comfortable at the plate lately.
"There is something to be said for when a team starts swinging the bat well -- it carries over to other people," Joyce said. "You can definitely tell everybody in our lineup has some confidence and seems to be relaxed."
Joyce missed another home run to straightaway center field in the third, but Iannetta followed with a two-run shot to almost the exact same place, giving the Angels their 10th run before the Rockies could record their 11th out. Since the end of April, Iannetta's on-base percentage is .364.
"I think after April I was where I wanted to be," Iannetta said. "Unfortunately I dug myself a pretty deep hole. The aggregate numbers look atrocious. It just speaks to how bad April was. I think you could have thrown the rosin bag up there, and I wouldn't have been able to make contact."
But now, at least, they're both getting on base. And others have joined them on this trip: Like Erick Aybar, who went 9-for-13 in Texas. Or David Freese, who has hit .500 over these last four games. Or Kole Calhoun, with 10 RBIs over the weekend. Or C.J. Cron, who went 7-for-9 on Saturday and Sunday before the National League rules forced him to sit.
The Angels are now the first team to score at least 10 runs in three consecutive games this season.
Who could've predicted that before this road trip?
"Our offense is coming together, and we're pitching well, too," said Trout, who added his 22nd home run in the second inning. "It's fun to be a part of it."