ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Give the Los Angeles Angels enough opportunities and they find ways to score runs.
It’s a lesson they have taught the Kansas City Royals plenty of times this season.
Mike Trout had three hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, and the Angels beat the Royals 9-6 on Monday night.
“I thought we did a good job in the batter’s box all night, and you have to when you’re down 5-2 and you come back,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Trout scored three runs and drove in two, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols also had two RBIs, and Jefry Marte went 4 for 4 with a solo home run to help the Angels improve to 4-0 against the Royals this season. Los Angeles has scored at least five runs in each of the wins.
Tim Hill (1-2) couldn’t handle a bouncing comeback up the middle from Trout, and the ball had enough on it to carry to center field and allow Maldonado to score for the 7-6 lead.
“That was kind of a crazy one. That guy was pretty funky,” Trout said of the hit that produced his 39th RBI. “Once I got the two strikes, I was just trying to put it in play.”
Upton and Pujols each contributed run-scoring singles to add to the lead.
Cam Bedrosian (2-1) pitched a perfect eighth to get the win. Blake Parker got the last three outs, striking out Jorge Soler with a runner on first for his fourth save and the Angels’ third win in four games.
“That’s a team,” said Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings. “We’re going to pick each other up, and the offense did it huge. Bullpen picked me up huge, and we got the win, so that’s good.”
After Soler’s two-run double pushed the Royals’ lead to 5-2 in the fifth, Upton homered for the second straight game to pull the Angels within two in the bottom of the inning.
Marte added his third homer to start a three-run sixth. Trout drove in Shohei Ohtani, who hit a pinch-hit single, to tie the score 5-5. Pujols gave the Angels a 6-5 lead on a single that scored Trout for his 1,949th career RBI.
However, Salvador Perez tied it with a solo home run to left-center in the seventh.
Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar and Jon Jay each had an RBI for the Royals.
“We scored some runs early and I liked our at-bats early,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Offensively, it’s one of those nights where I feel like I don’t really lament any opportunities missed.”
Marte ended an 0-for-16 skid by getting hits in each of his four at-bats, and Scioscia hopes to get more consistency from the backup first baseman.
“This guy, really, he’s got a great approach, especially against left-handed pitching,” Scioscia said. “We saw it a couple years ago and hasn’t really quite surfaced, but you saw it tonight with a great night and hopefully a sign of better things to come.”
Ohtani had been struggling in his last nine games as the designated hitter, going 5 for 29 (.172), but he came up big in his first pinch-hit appearance at home.
“Got the rally started, so a good time for that there,” Scioscia said of Ohtani, who is 2 for 4 as a pinch-hitter.
Pujols went 2 for 4 as the DH in place of Ohtani, who will make next start as a pitcher Wednesday.
Angels: With Kole Calhoun (strained oblique) on the 10-day disabled list, Scioscia said he is comfortable rotating between Chris Young, Michael Hermosillo and Kaleb Cowart in right field. “We can mix-and-match a little bit, and just hopefully hold the fort down until Kole gets back,” Scioscia said.
Rangers: RHP Brad Keller (1-1, 2.13 ERA) will make his first career road start Tuesday. Keller gave up one run in three innings of an 11-8 win over Minnesota in his first start on Wednesday, and the 22-year old has a 2.19 ERA in 11 relief appearances on the road this season.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-4, 3.66) has lost two of his last three starts, giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings of a 6-2 defeat at Detroit on Thursday.