A successful homestand has dissolved into a rough road trip following the Angels' three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's.
The Angels are 2-5 on their trip and 4-9 on the road against American League West opponents.
Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images
By Michael Martinez
The week ahead
The Angels have one leg remaining in their 11-day, 10-game road trip, a three-game set at Houston starting Tuesday. They return home Friday night to face the Chicago White Sox before the A's come to Anaheim for three games next week.
The week behind
A successful homestand has dissolved into a crummy road trip following the Angels' three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland A's. After splitting a four-game series at Seattle, the Angels are 2-5 on their trip and 4-9 on the road against American League West opponents.
Record and standings
Comparatively speaking, the Angels aren't in a bad place. One game into June, they're 30-26; last season on the same date, they were 25-31 and trailed the division lead by 9 1/2 games. But after landing in Oakland with a 1 1/2-game deficit, they now trail the A's by 4 1/2 games.
Following today's game, the club optioned Jarrett Grube to Triple-A Salt Lake. A corresponding move will be made Tuesday.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to return to the lineup this week, but the players likely to be sent down to make room are doing well enough to give manager Mike Scioscia pause. C.J. Cron has given the Angels some right-handed power, batting .299 with three home runs and 11 RBI as a designated hitter and occasional first baseman. Grant Green is more versatile -- he can play second base, third, shortstop and left field -- and is hitting .361 in 21 games. Both deserve a thumb's up for filling in so well.
The Angels' 11-3 loss to the A's on Saturday night was a disappointment on several levels, not just relief pitching. They loaded the bases in the first inning and failed to score, then collected four singles in the second inning and still couldn't bring in a run. That's why they led only 3-1 after six innings. Hitting with runners in scoring position is an important component of any team's offense, and right now the Angels rank 11th in the AL at .244.
If all goes well -- and frankly, that's pure speculation -- Josh Hamilton could finally rejoin the Angels in Houston this week. Hamilton's recovery from a torn ligament in his left thumb, followed by a bone bruise in his thumb, has been painfully slow. But he went 5 for 9 in two games at Triple-A Salt Lake and could be activated Tuesday. Hamilton was hitting .444 when he was injured April 8 in Seattle.
Until this weekend, the Angels hadn't been swept by the A's in Oakland since June 29-July 1, 2004. The Angels have also lost four consecutive seasons series to the A's and are 1-5 against them so far this season.
"I want to be out there. I just want to get it better." -- Outfielder Mike Trout, who sat out Saturday and Sunday against the A's because of stiffness in the middle of his back