Angels 4, Rangers 2

Mike Trout doesn’t go fishing for compliments. The way he’s been

playing for the Los Angeles Angels, it’s unavoidable, though.

Trout hit an RBI triple in the sixth inning, a tiebreaking

two-run single in the seventh and saved two runs with his

spectacular speed in the outfield, leading the Los Angeles Angels

to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

”When you’ve got that much speed – and plate discipline – it’s

not surprising to us,” right fielder Torii Hunter said. ”The

thing that’s more impressive to me is the plate discipline and the

clutch hits. And his speed can make up for bad routes in the

outfield. I like him a lot.”

Hunter isn’t the only one.

”He’s a good player – a real good player,” Texas manager Ron

Washington said. ”He’s got speed, a little pop in that bat, and he

makes contact. He’s an exciting-looking little player.”

Jerome Williams (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits over seven

innings and struck out four against the AL West leaders.

The Angels won for the ninth time in 11 games, reducing the

Rangers’ AL West lead over Los Angeles to 4 1-2 games after they

trailed by as many as nine games on April 30.

A seventh-inning error by Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler

helped the Angels score two unearned runs. Lewis gave up a two-out

single to Howie Kendrick and hit Erick Aybar with an 0-2 pitch

before Alexi Ogando came in and got pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis to

hit a grounder that Kinsler misplayed. Trout then singled to


”I just had a feeling I was going to come through,” Trout

said. ”You always want to be in that situation with bases loaded.

But in that spot, I’ve just got to tell myself not to be too big –

not try to hit a home run and fly out. I just kept things short,

stayed within myself and hit the ball up the middle. The pitch got

in on me a little bit, but I stayed on it long enough. It was

definitely a big hit for me and for the team. I’m having a blast,

and it’s from winning.”

Scott Downs pitched a scoreless eighth and Ernesto Frieri

pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his third save in

as many chances. The right-hander has not allowed a hit in 13

innings since joining the Angels in a trade with San Diego on May

3, and has fanned 27 of the 50 batters he’s faced.

Colby Lewis (4-4) was charged with four runs – two earned – and

four hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Lewis had allowed just one hit and took a 2-0 lead into the

sixth before the Angels tied it. Ninth-place hitter John Hester led

off with a ground-rule double, Trout followed with his triple off

the right-field wall and Albert Pujols hit a sacrifice fly.

The Rangers, beginning a 10-game California trip, threatened to

regain the lead in the seventh after third baseman Alberto Callaspo

misplayed Nelson Cruz’s leadoff grounder for his second error of

the season and Kinsler hit a ground-rule double with two out. But

Williams escaped the jam with the help of Trout, who raced toward

the warning track in center field and reached over his head to grab

Elvis Andrus’ bid for extra bases after playing him shallow.

”It’s always good to make that big play for your pitcher, and

get a big hit for the offense, so it’s tough to choose which one is

bigger,” Trout said. ”It’s different each day, but every chance I

get I want to be aggressive.”

The Rangers scored their runs on RBI singles by Adrian Beltre

and former Angel Mike Napoli in the first and fourth innings.

Williams retired 10 of his first 18 batters, retiring No.9 hitter

Mike Moreland on inning-ending double-play grounders in the second

and fourth, after Cruz and David Murphy got themselves into scoring

position with stolen bases.

”I thought Williams made some adjustments from the last time we

faced him,” Washington said. ”He kept the ball inside on us and

he was cutting it a lot. We still had some opportunities, but he

made some pitches when he had to and didn’t make very many

mistakes. Twice we had runners in scoring position and we hit into

double plays. So we certainly put ourselves in position to put more

than two runs on the board.”

Lewis retired his first 10 batters before giving up a single to

Callaspo and a walk to Pujols. But the right-hander came back to

strike out Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo, whose four-game home

run streak ended one shy of the franchise record set by Bobby Bonds

in 1977.

NOTES: Rangers president Nolan Ryan, who pitched four of his

record seven no-hitters with the Angels, threw out a ceremonial

first pitch. Friday was the 37th anniversary of his fourth

no-hitter for the Halos, a 1-0 win against Baltimore at the ”Big

A.” … Ryan was part of the most one-sided trade in Angels

history on December 10, 1971, when he was acquired from the New

York Mets with three minor leaguers for Jim Fregosi. ”I see him

periodically because he’s scouting, but he managed me in `79 here,

so we’ve kind of gone past that,” Ryan said. ”We’ve both been in

the game so long, and we know that’s just part of it. I’ve never

really talked to him about it. The Mets got him with a need and a

purpose of putting him at third base, thinking they might fill a

hole that they had, and the Angels at that time were looking for

bodies and some people with some upside.” … OF Kole Calhoun beat

Rangers LHP Robbie Ross in the Angels’ annual cow-milking contest,

a staple of baseball that goes all the way back to Ryan’s early

years with the Mets in the late 1960s. ”I beat Willie Stargell

once – just blew him away,” Ryan said with a grin. ”It was

embarrassing how little he had in his pail. I think his stroke was

too long. I don’t think I won anything except bragging rights, and

I’m still bragging about that. But I can tell you this: After the

Willie Stargell deal, I really didn’t participate in it after that

because it made my forearm sore for about a week.”