Found May 26, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
Los Angeles Angels
SEATTLE So maybe this is where it finally begins.
After a sputtering start, a horrendous first month, a lack of offensive firepower and a failure to create positive momentum, the Angels seem to be correcting themselves in mid-flight.
OK, you've heard that before. But this time, it feels different. For the first time this season, the Angels came back from a four-run deficit. For the first time, they rallied after trailing as late as the seventh inning. For the first time, they've won four games in a row.
They beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 after scoring three runs in the ninth inning, after getting a three-run homer from Albert Pujols in the sixth, after starter Ervin Santana staggered through five innings. In other words, they won a game they ordinarily would have lost.
"It's huge," outfielder Mark Trumbo said. "I know I've said this before, but the good teams have a lot of come-from-behind wins. They have the ability to do that. For us, this was awesome."
The Angels (22-25) climbed to within three games of .500, the closest they've been to breaking even since they were 6-9 on April 21. They began the night with a 0-19 record in games in which they trailed after seven innings, and they were 2-18 when their opponents scored first.
But now, maybe good things are beginning to happen.
"Hopefully, in a couple of months we'll point back to this little stretch and see some of the things that have gone well," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But there's a lot ahead of us. We need to do things on a more consistent basis. Albert's starting to come to life, some of the guys around him are starting to come to life."
The Angels were down 4-0 when Pujols launched a shot to right-center with two runners on base. It was his second homer in two games and his fifth in 10 games. It put his career total as 451, just one away from matching Carl Yastrzemski for 34th place on the all-time list.
But good teams also take advantage of other teams' mistakes. They Angels did that, scoring the tying run on a throwing error by Mariners closer Brandon League and then taking the lead when pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick singled through the middle on the first pitch to send home two more.
"Off closers, you're just trying to get a pitch to drive," said Kendrick, who is 5 for 8 lifetime against League. "More times than none, the deeper you go in the count with them, the nastier they get. League is definitely a guy that can get nasty."
The Angels' bullpen kept the team in the game after Santana labored for five innings, walking seven batters and throwing 106 pitches.
"I don't know if I've ever seen Ervin more erratic than he was tonight," Scioscia said. "I'm sure we'll turn the page on it."
Relievers Hisanori Takahashi, Jason Isringhausen and Scott Downs pitched four scoreless innings after Santana departed, providing the offense with a chance to catch up. Which it did.
At the end of the night, it was hard not to feel like something good is happening. But if it is, this is just the start. Nothing is guaranteed.
But maybe it's a momentum builder.
"It's good to have those types of wins," Kendrick said. "I don't think we've been doing that all year, and to be able to put that together, getting the bases loaded and rally back to win, that's huge for our team.
"If we can continue to put wins together like this and have fun with the game, it'll be great."
Great, yes. But right now, they're just good.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
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