ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Josh Hamilton’s first series at the “Big A,” since being traded away from the Angels got off to a good start for the Rangers with a pair of victories.
Then Mike Trout gave them a graphic example of why he leads the majors in home runs, and why Los Angeles leads Texas by 7 1-2 games in the AL West
Trout hit a solo homer in the first inning against Nick Martinez, then added a grand slam against Spencer Patton in the sixth that helped send the Rangers to a 13-7 loss on Sunday.
“We played some good games here,” said Hamilton, who was 2 for 10 in the series with a double, four strikeouts and two runs scored. “We got down in this game, but we fought back. We came out and played well the first two games. We won five games on this trip, so it’s a good spot to be in at the end of the trip.”
Martinez (5-6) was charged with four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.01 ERA over his last six starts for the Rangers.
“I felt good overall but I had some command issues,” Martinez said. “I had to make some adjustments pitching from behind.”
C.J. Cron also went deep against Martinez and rookie Andrew Heaney kept his unblemished record intact, helping the Angels end a three-game skid and regain sole possession of the division lead by a full game over the Houston Astros.
Martinez was relieved by Anthony Bass after giving up a leadoff walk to Conor Gillaspie in the sixth. Bass then fielded a sacrifice bunt by Carlos Perez and threw wildly past first base, putting two men in scoring position. Daniel Robertson lined a single off Bass that loaded the bases, and Johnny Giavotella’s RBI single gave the Angels a 4-3 lead.
Trout then capped the inning with his third career slam on Patton’s full-count pitch, increasing the margin to 8-2 and getting a curtain call from the crowd.
“I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot there, throwing the ball away on the bunt. That kind of set the inning up,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Trout drove an 0-2 pitch just above the yellow line atop the 18-foot wall in right field in the first, becoming the fastest player in Angels history to reach the 30-homer mark in a season. The reigning AL MVP did it in his 97th game, breaking the previous mark set in 2000 by Troy Glaus (100 games).
The Angels got a scare in the fourth inning when Trout came up holding his left wrist in pain after diving for a Texas Leaguer by Elvis Andrus that popped out of his glove for a single after he hit the ground.
“It’s still a little sore, but it’s fine,” Trout said.
Prince Fielder, who was hit by a pitch to open the fourth inning, advanced to second on Andrus’ hit before a two-out walk to Ryan Rua loaded the bases. Heaney, who hadn’t hit a batter 34 1-3 innings over his five previous starts this season, plunked No.9 hitter Tomas Telis on the foot to force in a run that put the Rangers ahead 2-1.
The next batter was Delino DeShields, who lifted a pop fly into short left field. Shortstop Erick Aybar made an over-the-shoulder catch for the third out, a split second before he went head-over-heels in a violent collision between himself and Matt Joyce — who hit the deck in an effort to avoid him.
Both made it back to the dugout on their own power after spending several anxious minutes on the ground.
“They said I was out for a good couple of seconds there,” Joyce said. “I was definitely dizzy right afterwards, and I really don’t remember walking off the field. They said it was a mild concussion, so I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow and see where we stand.”
Heaney (5-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his sixth start for the Angels.
Rangers: LHP Matt Harrison (1-1) will take the ball in the opener of a three-game home series against the Yankees on Monday night, after scattering seven hits through six innings in a 9-0 win at Colorado last Tuesday. It will be only the third start this season and ninth over the past three years for the injury-plagued eight-year veteran.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (8-7) will start the series opener against the Astros.