video thumbnail

LAD@LAA: Santana fans 10 over eight solid frames

No team in Angels history won fewer times in their first 20 games than the six times they won early this season.

But since Mike Trout was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on April 28, the Angels have the best record in baseball. Trout, who was named to the American League All-Star Team in his rookie season, is hitting .339 with nine home runs, 33 RBIs and 51 runs in 58 games. The Angels are 39-21 since Trout joined the big league club.

"I think you're looking at a team that's kind of been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have a good team, and if our team plays to its potential over the course of a long season, then that report card is going to be very favorable, and that's all you can control."

The Angels fell to the Indians, 9-5, on Tuesday, completing the first 81 games of this 162-game regular season with a 45-36 record, five games behind the Rangers in the AL West and leading the AL Wild Card race.

"At the beginning, we were woefully underperforming on the field," Scioscia said. "If we play at the pace that we've played for the last two months for the rest of the season, we're going to eclipse some of the numbers that might play out."

Ervin Santana will take the mound for the Angels in Wednesday's rubber match against the Indians. Two starts after tossing a complete-game shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Santana gave up five runs on seven hits in a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday. Santana went 2-2 with a 5.85 ERA in June after going 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA in May.

Like Santana, Derek Lowe got a no-decision in a loss during his last start, and had a better May than June. Lowe, who will start for the Indians on Wednesday, went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA in April, 2-2 with a 4.30 ERA in May and 1-3 with a 6.49 ERA in June. He gave up seven runs -- four of them earned and three on a home run by Matt Weiters -- on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-8 loss to the Orioles on Friday.

"I take full responsibility for this game," Lowe said after his last outing. "That was the dumbest pitch that I've thrown in a long time -- to Weiters -- and it was my call. You just can't get beat in. ... It was probably the single most frustrating pitch that I've thrown all year."

Angels: Trout makes history
Mike Trout was named AL Rookie of the Month for June, becoming the first player in Angels history to win the award two consecutive months. Brennan Boesch was the last player on any team to accomplish the feat when he did it in May and June of 2010.

Trout batted .372 with three home runs and 16 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, 27 runs in June while posting a .419 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage. Since May 1, nobody has a better batting average than Trout's .351 mark or scored more runs than Trout's 51.

Indians: Hafner to return from DL
After missing the last six weeks with a right knee injury, designated hitter Travis Hafner is expected to return to the Indians' lineup Wednesday.

Hafner underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in May and recently completed a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus, going 1-for-10 in three games. He was a .295 hitter with 10 RBIs and 17 walks in April before batting .197 with 16 strikeouts in May.

"It's just a matter of trying to get your timing," he said. "[The knee] is doing good. Overall, it's good. There's a little bit of soreness off and on maybe running, but that's pretty normal. Overall it's doing really well."

Worth noting
• Indians catcher Carlos Santana has thrown out 15-of-41 (36.6 percent) potential base-stealers. That's the highest percentage in the AL, and second-best in the Majors, trailing only Arizona's Miguel Montero (16-of-39, 41 percent).

• Mark Trumbo's 14 home runs and 36 RBIs since May 27 are tied for the Major League lead. He is on pace to become the first player in Angels history to hit 40 home runs in a season since Troy Glaus hit 41 in 2001.

MLB.com Comments