ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Trout hit his major league-leading 16th home run, a 449-foot drive into the second deck in left field, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 Thursday to avoid being swept in six games this season at new Globe Life Field.
Trout, a three-time AL MVP, homered in the fifth inning against Kyle Gibson (1-5) for a 4-1 lead. He has 38 homers against Texas, his second-most against any team behind the 46 he has hit against Seattle.
Angels rookie Jared Walsh homered for the third time in five games, a go-ahead, three-run drive in the first after Trout singled and Anthony Rendon walked with two outs. Walsh finished third in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with 36 home runs last season for Salt Lake.
Los Angeles (18-27) remained fourth in the AL West, two games ahead of last-place Texas (15-28). The Angels are five games behind the New York Yankees (22-21) for the AL’s final playoff spot.
“We should be in better position,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We can get hot. We can absolutely get hot.”
Dylan Bundy (5-2) allowed two runs and four hits in 7 1/3 innings with a season-high 12 strikeouts and one walk. He fanned four in a row and eight of 11 batters starting with the final out of the second. Bundy began the day with a 2.49 ERA, third-best in the American League, and lowered that to 2.48.
“We faced him last year; he’s not the same guy,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said of Bundy, who was 38-45 with a 4.67 ERA in five previous seasons with Baltimore. “Clearly, he’s pretty dialed in on his stuff.”
Gibson gave up five runs, 10 hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-3 in five starts since winning Aug. 15 at Coors Field and 0-5 with a 7.18 ERA at Globe Life Field.
“It could have easily been six or seven innings with two runs and we are tied in the ninth,” said Gibson, who signed as a free agent last December following six seasons with Minnesota. “I’m trying to be realistic with myself and not be too down on myself even though I am my harshest critic.”
Gibson was aided by three double plays behind him during the first four innings. Right fielder Joey Gallo made a running catch deep in the corner to retire Trout in the third inning, then threw to first base to double off Matt Thaiss.
When the Rangers put the ball in play against Bundy, all 12 outs were made in the infield. Eleven were grounders plus one lineout to Rendon at third base.
“I didn’t know that,” Bundy said. “I mean, that’s usually a good thing.”
The Angels’ Taylor Ward singled his first three times up for his first career three-hit game. … The Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his hitting streak to a career-long 13 games with a seventh-inning single. … Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani were given the day off by Maddon. … Texas went into play with a team batting average of .216, last in the American League, and the four hits were one off its season low. The Rangers’ 15 strikeouts were one short of their season high.
Angels: INF David Fletcher (left ankle sprain), eligible to come off the injured list Thursday, might play Friday. … OF Justin Upton (bruised left hand) missed his second straight game. He left Tuesday night’s series opener after being hit by pitches twice in nearly the same spot in the first four innings.
Rangers: C Jose Trevino (sprained left wrist) didn’t play after leaving Wednesday night’s game in the middle of a fourth-inning at-bat. With Trevino sidelined, Texas selected the contract of C Sam Huff from its alternate training site, and he is to back up Jeff Mathis. Huff, a seventh-round draftee in 2016, is expected to make his big league debut Friday. OF Scott Heineman was optioned to the alternate site.
Angels: RHP Griffin Canning (0-3, 4.54 ERA) will take a 4.85 ERA in three road starts this season to Colorado for Friday’s series opener.
Rangers: RHP Jordan Lyles (1-4, 8.07 ERA) will seek his first win since Aug. 7 on Friday at home against Oakland in the opener of a four-game series.