Things are starting to look up for the LA Angels of Anaheim and it can only get better with the way Albert Pujols has been playing.
The Angels have won a major league-best 15 games in 19 tries since May 22 and are riding a 10-game road winning streak -- the longest since a franchise-best 11-game run from July 6-Aug. 2, 1988. They will try to match that mark tonight in the continuation of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pujols has six homers and 19 RBI in his last 19 games and finished 2-for-4 with an RBI in Monday's 3-2 win in the opener of the "Freeway Series." Mike Trout is also playing well and went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Trout scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning when Pujols singled to left field.
Trout has hits in 14 of his last 15 games with two homers, 14 RBI and 18 runs scored during that span for the Angels, who have ripped off four straight wins overall and were coming off a three-game sweep of Colorado. The Angels are 27-15 since Trout was called up from the minors.
"Mike in the batter's box is as advanced as any 20-year-old I've ever seen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on the club's website.
Mark Trumbo has been seeing the ball well at the plate, but had one hit in four at-bats last night. He entered the game hitting.357 with eight home runs and 20 RBI over his last 14 games.
Starting in place of injured Halos ace Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits in five innings for the no-decision. Jason Isringhausen picked up the win by getting the final out of the eighth inning and Ernesto Frieri registered his fifth save in the ninth.
Jerome Williams will have the honors of pitching the Angels to a series victory when he takes the mound tonight at Chavez Ravine. Williams had won two straight and six of his first eight decisions until last Wednesday's 8-6 loss to Seattle in which he allowed seven runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. The loss dropped him to 6-3 in 11 games (10 starts) and raised his earned run average to 4.02.
Williams will make his fifth career start against the Dodgers and is 2-2 with a 4.64 ERA through the first four. The right-hander is only 1-2 on the road as opposed to his 5-1 mark in six home starts this season.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier may have gone 0-for-4 at the plate on Monday, but reached a new agreement with the team. According to the ballclub's website, Ethier and the Dodgers agreed on a five-year extension worth $85 million through 2017.
"I've been instructed that I'm not to comment until tomorrow," Ethier said after Monday's loss on the Dodgers' website. "There's an announcement tomorrow."
Dee Gordon had two hits and scored a run, while Dodgers starter Chris Capuano posted a no-decision by allowing two runs in five innings. Kenley Jensen absorbed the loss for giving up Pujols' game-winning RBI single in the ninth.
"We got two runs early and then they made pitches and we didn't get hits," remarked Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
The Dodgers reinstated infielder Juan Uribe from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and was hit by a pitch. Uribe was bothered by a left wrist injury and spent time on the DL.
LA opened a six-game homestand last night versus the Angels and will also entertain the Chicago White Sox in Hollywood. The Dodgers had won two straight and seven of nine games before Monday's loss.
Taking the mound for the Dodgers Tuesday will be Aaron Harang. Harang has won consecutive starts and four of his past five decisions, including an 8-3 win at Philadelphia last Thursday. He held the Phillies to three runs on eight hits in six innings to improve to 5-3 in 12 starts with a 3.95 ERA.
Harang, a right-hander, lost his only start against the Angels back on July 5, 2003 as a member of Oakland. In the 6-3 loss Harang lasted just 1 2/3 frames and gave up four runs and seven hits.
The Angels are 10-3 against the Dodgers since the start of the 2010 campaign.