Trout ends HR drought; Angels gain WC ground

Trout ends HR drought; Angels gain WC ground

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout snapped his career-long homerless drought and the rest of the Angels' offense went off against Colby Lewis, scoring three runs in the second inning to handily beat the Rangers, 7-0, on Sunday afternoon.

Texas (71-64) dropped two of three at Angel Stadium this weekend and is now three games back of the Astros for first place in the American League West, while still 1 1/2 up on the Twins for the second Wild Card spot. The Angels (69-67) have won four of five since a 19-loss August and are 2 1/2 games behind the Rangers.

"There's a lot of baseball left," Trout said. "We won this series, and that's always big. We're trying to win series."

Angels starter Hector Santiago worked around control issues and recovered from a dreaded three-start stretch -- 12 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings -- with six shutout innings, while benefitting from plenty of run support.

Santiago's winning start

Trout opened the scoring with a fly ball over the tall fence in right field, giving him 34 homers on the year and snapping a streak of 27 games and 95 at-bats without one. Lewis then put the first five batters on in the second inning and finished giving up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and three walks in five innings. In nine starts against the Angels since the start of 2014, Lewis has an 8.87 ERA.

"I felt like I made a really good pitch to Trout, even, in the first," Lewis said. "The guy hadn't hit a home run in a month. One of my strengths is a fastball down-and-away, and he cheated out there and wound up getting a home run out of it. But I'm not gonna steer away from my strengths, what I do best. I'm gonna continue to run myself out there and do what I do."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Started from the bottom: The Angels got some very encouraging production from the bottom of their lineup, with David Freese, Carlos Perez and Taylor Featherston combining to go 8-for-11 with five runs scored, two RBIs and one walk. Freese scorched two doubles and a single, Perez reached base three times and Featherston notched three hits, one day after misplaying a critical grounder in Saturday's loss. More >

"It's just huge to contribute in a way and help these guys win, especially down the stretch," said Featherston, who raised his batting average from .132 to .155 in just one game. "All these games are meaningful. It's nice to just really feel comfortable and just be able to play."

Featherston's RBI double

Rangers bats keep quiet: The Rangers were shut out despite drawing six walks on Sunday against Santiago, as they were held to just a pair of hits. That capped a series in which the Texas offense managed just four runs in three games. The Rangers went just 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position in Anaheim, and they left 26 men on base. More >

"We've struggled this road trip. Really haven't been able to gain some traction offensively," manager Jeff Banister said. "But what I do know is this is an offense that's been a formidable offense for us, and when they come, they'll come in bunches."

Take a walk on the wild side: Santiago issued a career-high-tying six walks, but didn't allow any runs. The Rangers only had two baserunners in two of his innings and Santiago gave up just one hit to lower his ERA to 3.24. Santiago, Garrett Richards and Jered Weaver combined for 14 walks in 18 innings during the weekend series, but only gave up a combined three runs. More >

"It's like giving up seven hits and not giving up any runs," said Santiago, who has allowed just five runs in 30 1/3 innings against the Rangers this season. "For some reason I pitch better with guys on base. I bear down better."

Santiago snags liner, turns two

Stubbs shows speed, but hitting lags: Drew Stubbs started in center field and hit leadoff for the Rangers on Sunday with Delino DeShields sidelined with soreness in his upper torso. Acquired from the Rockies to provide speed off the bench and serve as a reserve outfielder, Stubbs did his job in center and stole second off Santiago after drawing a leadoff walk to open the game. But he continues to struggle in the box -- his batting average sits at .206 after an 0-for-3, two-strikeout day -- which has limited his utility this year.

QUOTABLE
"I told you guys last night I've been barreling up balls; they just haven't been going over the fence. Obviously I'm not trying to do it, but I put a good swing on the ball today, barreled it, and it went over." -- Trout, on snapping his homerless drought

"People are out to get us. Just because maybe we're the feel-good story, because nobody expected us to be in the position we are right now, nobody's gonna let us just walk into the playoffs." -- Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, on Texas' opponents down the stretch

ROUND NUMBERS
Angels manager Mike Scioscia earned his 1,400th career win as a manager, tied with Wilbert Robertson for 27th on the all-time list. He's only the 10th manager to reach 1,400 wins with just one team.

"Good players," Scioscia said, simply, when asked about the milestone. "I've had an opportunity to be here a while. I think it speaks much more toward the organization than anything I've done. These guys have played hard and allowed me to be here a while and get some wins."

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Right-hander Yovani Gallardo (11-9, 3.27 ERA) starts as the Rangers open a four-game series against the Mariners in Seattle on Monday at 5:40 p.m. CT. Gallardo will look to bounce back after giving up four runs in five innings to the Padres in his last start following back-to-back scoreless outings against the Tigers and Blue Jays.

Angels: Nick Tropeano will start in place of Matt Shoemaker (right forearm strain) in the opener of a three-game series against the crosstown-rival Dodgers from Angel Stadium on Monday. Tropeano (1-2, 5.51 ERA) will make his fourth Major League start this season and will face off with the dominant Zack Greinke (15-3, 1.59 ERA). First pitch is 6:05 p.m. PT.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.