Angels' bats bust out to snap tough road skid
KANSAS CITY -- In the first six innings, the Angels managed five baserunners against a pitcher who had given up 40 hits in his previous 23 innings. In the last two innings, they scored six runs against the best back-end-bullpen combo in the Major Leagues.
"We needed that," Mike Trout said after an uplifting 7-6 come-from-behind win against the first-place Royals on Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium. "It was big."
The Angels had won just five of their previous 19 games, were coming off a three-game sweep in which they amassed only one hit in 32 at-bats with runners in scoring position and had scored just one run through the first six innings against Jeremy Guthrie, who allowed 14 of them over his last two starts.
Then came Wade Davis, pitching the eighth inning with a four-run lead after missing the last seven games with tightness in his lower back. And Trout -- with 10 hits and 18 strikeouts in 53 at-bats since returning from an injury to his left wrist -- lined an RBI double to deep center field, setting him up to score on a groundout and pull the Angels within two.
"It felt good, to get the foot down, be on time," Trout said. "I haven't felt that in a while. Sometimes I feel good, and sometimes it's not quite there. It was definitely big to square that one up."
It was even bigger for the Angels to come all the way back in the next inning.
Royals closer Greg Holland, who finished ninth in the American League Cy Young Award voting last year, faced six batters and didn't retire one.
David DeJesus singled and Carlos Perez walked to start the ninth, then advanced on a wild pitch. C.J. Cron followed with a pinch-hit two-run double down the right-field line, eight days after delivering a two-run single with two out in the ninth against the Indians. Johnny Giavotella then reached on a bunt single, and Kole Calhoun followed with the go-ahead two-run double to right field.
The Angels' nine-game road losing streak -- tied for the longest in franchise history since 1993 -- was finally over.
Closer Huston Street called this "a good series for us to show something," and they did just that in the opener.
Perhaps to themselves.
"It's definitely a win to build on," Street said after recording his 27th save with a funky infield in the bottom of the ninth. "It's definitely encouraging and exciting to score those runs the way we did off Davis and Holland who, I think, are two of the best relievers in baseball, just because those guys know how to get it done. But our hitters put up great at-bats."