Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 9/16/12
Mark Trumbo needed Sunday's game as badly as the Angels did. Trumbo needed it to wipe away the memory of a debilitating slump, one that has threatened to ruin his All-Star season. The Angels needed it to wipe away the memory of Saturday night. In baseball, a short memory is important. One bad game lasts only until the next game starts. A slump can be put to rest with a game-winning hit. That's what Trumbo gave the Angels on Sunday, delivering a three-run homer in the second inning of a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals -- and putting Saturday night's crushing ninth-inning loss into the distant past. The effect of the victory was critical since it allowed the Angels to stay within striking distance in the American League wild card race. After their loss Saturday, it looked like they might simply fold -- that's how badly it hurt them. But they recovered to take two of three from the Royals in Kansas City and return home for their final and most important homestand of the season beginning Tuesday: three each against the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners in what will likely decide whether they play on or go home. Trumbo's home run -- his first since Aug. 21, a career-high 18-game homerless stretch -- gave the Angels a 4-0 lead that slowly withered away. But unlike the previous night, when closer Ernesto Frieri failed to hold a 2-0 lead in the ninth and gave up back-to-back homers to Billy Butler and Salvador Perez, the Angels held on. Trumbo hadn't just been in the throes of a slump; he was sliding into hitter oblivion. He was batting just .177 over his previous 37 games, had lost his everyday job in left field to Vernon Wells and hadn't played in five of the previous 11 games. When he returned to the lineup Sunday, he was eighth in the batting order. But after Wells and Alberto Callaspo opened the second inning with singles off Royals left-hander Will Smith, Trumbo came up and drove a two-seam fastball on a 1-1 count over the fence in center field, 414 feet from home plate. The moment must have felt familiar. Kauffman Stadium was the site of this season's All-Star Game and home run derby, in which Trumbo hit 14 homers and finished third. But when the season resumed, his early season success slowly eluded him. His average dropped from .306 on July 29 to .268, and he had just four home runs since July 21. "It's nice," he told FOX Sports West of the feeling of finally going deep. "It's been a rough couple of months. My confidence is still there. The results might not be, but I'm going to keep trying." There's no guarantee he's shaken his slump. In fact, he probably hasn't. He struck out his next three times at bat, including one that ended the sixth inning with runners at first and third. But it might be a start of better things ahead. The Angels will need contributions from Trumbo and everyone else to finish strong and give themselves a chance. And a chance is all they have right now. "It's confidence-building, no doubt," Trumbo said. "We didn't get (to the playoffs) last year and we're definitely in it this year. You give yourself a chance, and that's what counts."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Enes Kanter wants to become American citizen

Report: O.J. Simpson's parole hearing set for July

Baseball may soon enter an era of two-way players

Kyrie Irving: Cavs were served ‘slice of humble pie’

Report: NFL teams question Darrelle Revis’ commitment to the game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zaza Pachulia partially blames Gregg Popovich for his family receiving death threats

Sens coach Guy Boucher: We know Pens 'are the better team'

IndyCar drivers Dixon, Franchitti robbed at gunpoint in Taco Bell drive-thru

Fans in new Raiders Vegas stadium will be able to place bets on mobile devices?

Luke Walton not stressing LaVar Ball, cites his dad's 'big personality'

Ex-motorcycle champion Nicky Hayden dies after collision in Italy

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA power players continue to speak against Trump

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker