- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Angels are rising right along with Mike Trout’s batting average a month after both of them were scuffling.

Trout homered for the second straight game and the Angels rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-4 on Thursday night, taking three out of four games in the Freeway Series and winning for the sixth time in seven games.

Carlos Perez added a solo shot for the Angels, who have scored 52 runs in the last eight games after just eight in their previous five games.

Trout was 2 of 3 with a walk, drove in three runs and scored twice in front of 45,007, the largest crowd for a regular-season game since Angel Stadium was renovated in 1998.

“Every night on the field Mike’s always doing things that are helping us win,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “His talent shows up regularly.”

Trout has raised his average to .327 after being at .220 a month ago. He stole his 117th career base in the first to pass Chad Curtis for 10th on the club’s all-time list and his 74th career homer at the stadium passed Bobby Grich for 10th all-time.

Johnny Giavotella singled in the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs in the fifth, extending his hitting streak to a season-high eight games. During that stretch, he’s hit .382 with four doubles, a homer, five RBI and six runs scored.

“This team is very strong-willed,” Giavotella said. “We’re not going to hang our head and pout. We have a lot of confidence in what we can do. Before we were all kind of pressing and trying to do too much in every at-bat.”

Jose Alvarez (1-1) worked 1 2/3 innings for the win. Joe Smith pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

“They don’t make excuses. They came into the series actually playing decent baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the Angels. “These games are always played close, and for us, we can’t sustain any traction, any momentum, so it’s frustrating.”

Perez homered leading off the sixth, extending the Angels’ lead to 6-4.

The Angels scored three runs in the fifth for their first lead of the game. Ross Stripling (1-3) gave up a leadoff single to Gregorio Petit before issuing consecutive walks to Kole Calhoun and Trout that loaded the bases. Stripling hit C.J. Cron in the left arm, forcing in one run. Chris Hatcher came on and gave up Giavotella’s single that made it 5-4.

“I don’t think I’ve ever hit anybody,” Stripling said. “I kind of picked a tough time to do it.”

Trout homered on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the third and the Angels trailing 3-2.

Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out two and walked three. He had two wild pitches in the first inning, one of which led to the Dodgers’ first run.

“The bullpen really rescued me,” Chacin said after his first start at home since joining the team on May 11 from Atlanta.

Stripling gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out three and walked three. He also had a wild pitch in the first, when the Angels tied the game 1-all on Trout’s RBI single.

“It’s just another outing where I felt like I was one pitch away and just couldn’t get it done,” Stripling said.

Howie Kendrick tripled in two runs to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1 in the third. Joc Pederson’s fielder’s choice grounder added a run in the fifth.


Dodgers: 1B Adrian Gonzalez (low back tightness) missed his fourth straight game. He is expected to return to the lineup Saturday. … LF Scott Van Slyke (low back irritation) is working out with players at extended spring training in Arizona and is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Angels: C Geovany Soto had surgery Thursday to repair a right meniscus tear and is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.


Pedro Baez’s inconsistent tempo continues to concern the Dodgers. The game moves more slowly when the reliever is on the mound since he often takes 45 seconds or more to throw. Manager Dave Roberts cited being comfortable with pitch selection and throwing specific pitches with conviction as reasons for Baez’s lack of flow.

“When he sees a guy take a good swing at his high fastball that hitters don’t have success against, he might take it as they’re on the pitch,” Roberts said. “He’s kind of maybe second-guessing a little bit of, ‘Should I go to my secondary or should I elevate a little higher?’ There is a little bit of uncertainty.”


The Dodgers selected the contract of right-handed reliever Chin-hui Tsao from Triple-A Oklahoma City, who pitched the eighth inning, and sent RHP Mike Bolsinger to the minors Thursday. Tsao is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA and six saves at Triple-A, including 8 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in his last eight games since April 29. Bolsinger was reinstated from the DL on Wednesday and was the losing pitcher in the team’s 8-1 defeat.


Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at San Diego. He last faced the Padres on April 5, at Petco Park, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings while getting the win in the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory.

Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.42) will make his first start against the Orioles in the series opener since July 31, 2014. He is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six career games (three starts) against them.

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