Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/26/12
SEATTLE There is no way to explain what's happening, and maybe it's best to keep it that way. Whatever the Angels are doing, they'd like to just keep it going. Their success the past five games and really, for most of their current road trip is a confluence of happy occurrences: hitting, pitching, relief pitching, even luck. It's all coming together, and because they're finally looking like the team they were supposed to be, they're winning. "We're clicking," pitcher Jerome Williams said. "We're swinging the bats well, we're pitching well. That's how we play the game." It is now. For all of April and part of May, the Angels seemed to be trudging along with no sense of purpose, winning a game here and there but failing to put up big numbers offensively. No one was more guilty than 240-million man Albert Pujols, whose batting average at one time hovered below .200. But the Angels have done an about-face, which is why events like the ones Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field transpired. -- Infielder Alberto Callaspo hit a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, the big hit in a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. It was the Angels' first pinch-hit slam in eight years. -- Albert Pujols hit another home run, his third in three games, his sixth in 11 games and the 452nd of his career, tying Carl Yastrzemski for 34th place on the career list. Pujols' batting average now sits at .232, hardly Pujols-like but a vast improvement over his .190 mark through the Angels' first 30 games. -- Williams pitched six innings to earn his fifth victory of the season and first on the road. -- The bullpen was wildly impressive again, with Scott Downs, Jordan Walden and Ernesto Frieri combining to throw three scoreless innings. In 21 23 innings over nine games on the road trip, Angels relievers have not given up an earned run. Frieri was credited with his second save and now has pitched 10 innings, struck out 22 and not allowed a hit since the May 3 trade that brought him to Anaheim from San Diego. The Angels are 23-25, the closest they've been to .500 since they had a 4-6 record on April 16. They also moved into second place in the American League West, a spot they haven't seen since the fifth day of the season. Does this have the look and feel of a team that finally feels good about itself? "We know what kind of ballclub we have, and we just try to go out there and try to win," Pujols said. "It didn't happen too many times in April, but here we go." It sure didn't happen for Pujols, who had no home runs and four RBIs in the season's first month. So far in May, he has seven homers and 22 RBIs. Among AL hitters, only Texas' Josh Hamilton (28) has more RBIs in May. And then there's Callaspo, who had just one home run this season when he came to bat with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. He was thinking sacrifice fly, he said later, but even his manager was a little surprised to see the ball go out. "He's got a little power," Scioscia said, "but I don't think we were expecting that." What they got was a game-changing shot to right field off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez, the former Cy Young Award winner. "He's really good," Callaspo said of Hernandez. "Maybe I just get lucky." When teams are playing well, those kinds of things happen. And right now, things are going very well.
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