NEW YORK -- The Mets spent most of this weekend pitching carefully to Mike Trout, limiting him to singles and walks. Trout finally broke through Sunday on a banner day for the Angels' offense, collecting a homer and a double while reaching base four times in Los Angeles' 12-5 win over the Mets.
C.J. Cron hit a first-inning grand slam off Tommy Milone and the Angels collected four home runs in total, taking advantage of nine walks to plate a dozen runs for the second time in four games.
The win allowed Los Angeles to avoid a sweep at Citi Field, against a Mets team that entered the series on a seven-game losing streak. Though Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to stir the 39,501 in attendance, Andrelton Simmons' three-run shot in the seventh thwarted the Mets' comeback attempt.
Although Angels starter Jesse Chavez couldn't escape the sixth inning, allowing five runs, on this day that was good enough for the win. Milone gave up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, recording just four outs.
"You take away all the positives from today," Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson said. "We were facing a good team that's been playing well all season long, and we were able to pick up a series victory against them."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Five-run frenzy: Cron's grand slam capped a five-run first for the Angels, with all five runs scoring before Milone recorded an out. After Cameron Maybin and Simmons led off the game with hits, Milone intentionally walked Trout, then unintentionally walked Jefry Marte to force in a run. One pitch later, Cron launched his grand slam a projected 414 feet into the seats in left, collecting his first home run of the season.
"I just didn't want to be passive," Cron said. "I wanted to be aggressive, especially in that situation. Try to put some runs on the board -- whether it be a base hit or a sac fly or whatever, just make him get three pitches by me, instead of two. Fortunately, it was a good pitch to hit." More >
Thwarting a comeback: Half an inning after Bruce homered, drawing the Mets within four runs of the lead, Simmons launched a three-run shot off Hansel Robles to stamp out the comeback attempt. That completed a home run cycle for the Angels, who hit a grand slam, a three-run homer, a two-run homer and a solo shot over the game's first seven innings.
"It's huge," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Simmons' blast. "It gives a lot of breathing room when those guys had come back to where a grand slam ties the game. They got some momentum back and we turned around and got it right back on them."
"Simmons is a dead fastball hitter," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "[Robles] got in a count where he thought he could get a ball in on him, and he didn't. He left it up and he hit it in the seats."
"It seemed like anytime I was throwing the ball over the plate, they were hitting it. That's obvious. I don't know. I don't really have any answers." -- Milone, on his struggles
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mets pitchers, who led the Majors with 2.73 walks per nine innings this season, rank 27th in the league this year with a 3.85 rate. They have walked 18 batters over their last two games.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Collins improved to 8-5 on challenges in the seventh inning, when umpires overturned the initial call of a stolen base for Danny Espinosa. The Angels went on to score three runs in the inning despite the overturned call.
FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to left rib cage tightness. Matt Reynolds, who started in his place, homered in the third inning to plate the Mets' first run. The team expects Reyes to return on Tuesday. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels will head to Florida to open a four-game series against the Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field. Right-hander JC Ramirez (3-3, 3.97 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener and make his first career start against the Rays. Ramirez has faced Tampa Bay twice as a reliever, tossing two scoreless innings. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT.
Mets: Following an off-day Monday, Matt Harvey (2-3, 5.56 ERA) will open a three-game series Tuesday for the Mets against the Padres at Citi Field. Harvey, whose month has included a three-game suspension and a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts, will oppose right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in the 7:10 p.m. ET game.