Batting cleanup for the Angels, Mark Trumbo was in the perfect spot Sunday.
With the three hitters in front of him capping a weekend rampage at Coors Field, Trumbo hit a pair of three-run homers to set a career high with six RBI and Los Angeles beat the slumping Colorado Rockies 10-8 for its ninth consecutive victory on the road.
Torii Hunter added a two-run homer and scored three times to help the Angels complete a three-game sweep.
Mike Trout, Hunter and Albert Pujols, the top three batters in Los Angeles’ lineup, combined to go 23-for-42 (.548) with 16 RBI and 21 runs in the series. Hunter was 9-for-15 with three homers, nine RBI and eight runs.
Asked whether he’s ever been sandwiched between hitters like Trout and Pujols, Hunter said: ”I’ve never had that. In my career, I’ve always been the one hitting behind somebody. This is awesome.”
On a day when the ball was flying out of hitter-friendly Coors Field, the Angels scored nine times in the first four innings. Tyler Colvin hit a three-run homer and Carlos Gonzalez had a two-run shot as Colorado scored five in the second to tie the score at 6.
”I don’t think there’s such thing as a cushion in this park,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”You try to score as many as you can, and hopefully you’re going to hold them to one less.”
The Angels won the first two games of the series 7-2 and 11-5, and their nine-game winning streak away from home ties the second-longest in club history. They also won nine consecutive road games in June 1987 and set a franchise record with 11 in a row from July 6 to Aug. 2, 1988.
The Angels, who continue their six-game road trip Monday at Dodger Stadium, have won 14 of their past 18 games against the Rockies and are 9-2 at Coors Field.
The Rockies fell to 0-6 in interleague play — with all the games at home — and lost their fifth consecutive overall. Colorado manager Jim Tracy was tossed in the ninth by plate umpire Greg Gibson, his first ejection of the season.
Los Angeles pounced on Christian Friedrich (4-2), who lasted four innings, and built leads of 4-0 after one inning and 6-1 in the second. But the Rockies scored five runs with two outs in the second. Colvin, who homered twice Saturday, hit his three-run shot after Ervin Santana walked Friedrich. Trout hit the center-field wall hard after coming close to catching the ball before it dropped over the fence.
”It’s fine. It’s going to be sore,” said Trout, who reached base 10 times in the series, scored eight runs and said he expected to play Monday.
After Marco Scutaro doubled, Gonzalez tied the game with his 16th homer.
Friedrich made the shortest of his seven career starts and gave up a career-high nine runs while throwing 90 pitches to get 12 outs. His outing raised the ERA of the Rockies’ starters to 6.20 and raised his ERA in three starts at Coors Field to 12.60.
”I didn’t get inside enough,” Friedrich said. ”I was ahead of a couple of guys in the first inning. The plan was to elevate it underneath the hands, and I kept it down. And then not being able to throw the curveball for strikes. Once you don’t have that – it’s one of my better pitches to get outs. I knew when I didn’t have my curveball, it was going to be a little bit of a grind.”
Friedrich gave up five hits in a row and four runs before getting an out in what became a 33-pitch first inning. Trout, who has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games, led off with a double, his hard grounder deflected by third baseman Jordan Pacheco, and scored on Hunter’s single. Pujols followed with a single and Trumbo, hitless in nine at-bats in the first two games of the series, hit a mammoth three-run homer to left on an 83 mph changeup.
Trumbo launched Friedrich’s first-pitch curve for a three-run homer in the fourth. Hunter began the inning with a single and Pacheco then bobbled Pujols’ potential double-play grounder ahead of Trumbo’s homer.
”We were back in the game,” Tracy said, ”when we had a critical miscue. It looked like a double play, and it turned into a three-run homer.”
It was Trumbo’s 14th of the season. Off the bat, he didn’t think the ball would clear the fence.
”I was just hoping it was deep enough that they’d be able to tag and move over,” Trumbo said.
Santana (3-7) weaved through 5 2/3 innings in his Coors Field debut, allowing nine hits and seven runs while winning for the first time in five starts since May 15. Scott Downs earned his sixth save.
”It’s not fun to pitch here. Sliders look like a fastball. Everything’s hanging. It’s hard,” Santana said.
After Scutaro singled home a run in the ninth, Gonzalez lined a ball that pitcher Scott Downs appeared to snare as he went to his knees. He dropped the ball while trying to transfer it and threw to shortstop Eric Aybar, who threw to first base for what was ruled a double play. Tracy argued Downs had caught the ball.
”I don’t want to put myself into a position to get into a lot of trouble, but persoanally I felt like he caught the ball,” Tracy said.
Downs then gave up a single to Michael Cuddyer but retired Todd Helton on a game-ending popup.
”Fortunately we were able to hold some leads,” Scioscia said. ”It wasn’t an easy series. I guess it’s life in this ballpark, and we got a glimpse of it this weekend.”
NOTES: Angels catcher Chris Iannetta (broken right wrist) will begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class-A Inland Empire. He was supposed to begin his rehab assignment Saturday but developed forearm stiffness while throwing. … Trumbo also hit two homers June 5 against Seattle. … The Rockies have gotten four innings or less from their starter in four of the past five games. … Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left groin strain) took batting practice for the first time since he was injured May 30 and continued with running drills. Tulowitzki is progressing steadily but will have to complete a rehab assignment before being activated Friday at Detroit when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list. … Rockies CF Dexter Fowler didn’t start. Since the conclusion of his nine-game hitting streak, Fowler has two hits in his past 15 at-bats with nine strikeouts. … In 16 games with the Angels, reliever Ernesto Frieri, who struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth, has allowed two hits in 16 1/3 scoreless innings with 33 strikeouts. … Jeremy Guthrie (3-4) starts Tuesday for the Rockies against Oakland. … The Angels will start Garrett Richards (1-0) on Monday at the Dodgers.