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

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

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

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

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