They say that April is the cruelest month, but for the Los Angeles Angels, the worse choice is August.
Alternately cursed by erratic offense and puzzlingly bad starting pitching, the Halos lost 10 of their first 14 games this month, and tumbled far out of the race for the American League West lead. In fact, if the Halos can’t reverse course and if Seattle stays hot, the possibility of falling into last place in the division looms big.
After staggering through a four-game sweep in Anaheim at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Angels had a travel day Monday and started a three-game series at Fenway Park in Boston.
On Tuesday night things looked brighter, as the Angels beat the Red Sox 5-3 behind Ervin Santana’s strong start. He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits.
The Angels had 11 hits, including Mark Trumbo’s 30th home run, a two-run shot over the Green Monster.
Aside from snapping a four-game loss streak, it allowed the Halos of move up a game on Texas, and stay ahead of surging Seattle. They remained four games out in the wild card race, though.
The Red Sox series continued Wednesday night (results too late for our print deadline) and concludes today (Thursday). On Friday the Halos are in Detroit to take on the Tigers Friday through Sunday, then return to Anaheim on Tuesday, Aug. 28 to start a three-game series with the Red Sox.
In the four game sweep by the Rays, the Angels lost 7-0, 12-3, 10-8 and 8-3.
Sunday’s game saw the Angels fall behind early as the Rays beat up Halo starter Zach Greinke (1-2) for four runs in the second. Homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols weren’t enough.
“We’ve just got to wait our turn,” counseled Torii Hunter. “Things have been going the other team’s way lately, and the results have not been good, but we’re just going to keep fighting. I’m disappointed in the way we are playing, but we do have heart. We’re going to play the game the right way and let things take their course.”