DENVER (AP) Mike Trout provided the early power and Johnny Giavotella delivered another clutch hit for the Los Angeles Angels.
Trout homered twice and Giavotella singled in the tiebreaking run with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Angels over the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.
Giavotella has been one of the best clutch hitters on a team with two of the top sluggers in the game. His single in the ninth raised his batting average to .333 after the sixth inning, and he has 11 RBIs in late-and-close situations.
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”Johnny, he’s done it time in and time out,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”He’s been finding holes and he found a big one tonight.”
The start was delayed by rain for 2 hours, 7 minutes, and the teams played in 50-degree weather throughout. It didn’t bother Trout, who hit mammoth homers in the first and sixth to account for the Angels’ runs against starter Chris Rusin.
It was the fifth multihomer game of Trout’s career and second this season. The reigning AL MVP has gone deep 24 times on the year, second in the league to teammate Albert Pujols (26).
”It’s one of those nights,” said Trout, who hit three homers in the two-game series. ”I got some pitches to hit and barreled them up.”
Troy Tulowitzki had a first-inning single that extended his hitting streak to 20 games. It’s tied for the longest in the majors this season, and he has reached safely in 35 consecutive games.
Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis also had a 20-game hitting streak June 3-26.
Tulowitzki nearly won the game in the bottom of the ninth when he drove a ball to the warning track with a runner on, but Daniel Robertson tracked it down for the first out.
”I knew he didn’t catch it clean,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ”He hit it towards the end of the bat and hit it to the deepest part of the park.”
Nolan Arenado and Nick Hundley had three hits each for the Rockies, who have lost nine of 11. Colorado stranded 13 runners, including the potential tying and winning runs in the ninth.
The Angels loaded the bases against John Axford (1-2) with one out in the ninth. After pinch-hitter Efren Navarro struck out, Giavotella grounded a single to left to give Los Angeles the lead.
”He kind of hung a curveball,” Giavotella said. ”I was able to knock it for a base hit.”
Joe Smith (3-2) got the win in relief, and Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 24th save. With a runner on second, he struck out Carlos Gonzalez. After an intentional walk to Arenado, Ben Paulsen grounded out to end it.
”We didn’t get the big hit today,” Weiss said. ”We couldn’t take advantage of our chances.”
The Rockies took the lead in the fourth against starter Matt Shoemaker. Gonzalez and Arenado opened with doubles to put runners on second and third before RBI singles by Paulsen and Hundley made it 2-1.
Trout’s second home run, which traveled an estimated 477 feet, tied the game at 2.
”I hit it good,” Trout said. ”It’s one of the better balls I’ve barreled up all year.”
Street tweaked his right groin on the last pitch of the game and could miss some time. He fell to the ground after delivering a changeup for the final out. ”It’s sore,” he said. ”We’re going to re-evaluate it tomorrow. Hopefully it’s not that bad. My gut tells me I didn’t get it too bad.”
The Rockies have endured 13 weather delays at Coors Field this season for a total time of 20 hours, 18 minutes. Four home games were postponed due to inclement weather.
Angels: OF Collin Cowgill (sprained right wrist) has been shut down for the week. Cowgill has been on the 15-day DL since May 28. ”I hope at some point we can control the irritation in his hand to where he can function and play,” Scioscia said. ”Hopefully, it’s not going to be something that keeps him from coming back and playing.”
Rockies: RHP Brooks Brown (right shoulder inflammation) is eligible to come off the 15-day DL but the Rockies are being cautious with the reliever. He has been on the disabled list twice for the same injury. ”We’re not going to rush him back. We felt like we didn’t rush him back the first time, either,” Weiss said. ”He felt real strong when he came back. We’ll be really cautious because it happened twice.”
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (9-5, 3.35 ERA) brings a 2.04 ERA in his last four starts into his outing at Seattle on Thursday. Richards is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in his career against the Mariners.
Rockies: RHP Kyle Kendrick (3-10, 6.00) will open a four-game series against Atlanta on Thursday. Kendrick is 9-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 20 career starts against the Braves.