Angels hope to capitalize on interleague success

ANAHEIM -- Wearing throwback uniforms from the 1960s, the Angels retuurned home Friday to open an interleague series against the Atlanta Braves.

Los Angeles hopes to get back to .500 a day after it went one game under for the first time this season.

“It’s good to be back home after a hard week," designated hiter Bobby Abreu said. "We just hope that coming to our park will help us refresh the mind a little bit and get back on track. And I hope all the good things that come to this team with interleague play also gives us a lift.”

The Angels hope to build on their recent history of success in interleague play, which includes the second-best record in baseball since 2000 (119-78), and the best record since 2007 (49-23).

Certainly they’ll take anything that helps them get back on track. One of the hottest teams at the start of the season, the Angels (22-23) are in third place in the AL West. So far, they’ve been in first place 20 days, and in second 22 days.

The last seven games, though, have been tough. The team has suffered six losses, three by one run, two by three runs and only one by a lopsided score (14-0). All the losses have come against division rivals Texas and Seattle.

What’s worse, the Angels have been able to score only one run in the last 30 innings. On their recent trip, they batted .201 with only five hits in 47 at-bats with runners in scoring position. And their bullpen hasn’t been sharp in May, posting a 5.92 ERA with 22 earned runs in 25.1 innings spanning 11 games.

“We need to get in the field and turn the page and get it going," veteran Torii Hunter said. "We finished a weird trip, with crazy weather and we are missing players like (injured) Vernon Wells, but that’s no excuse. We have to do what we have to do. We haven’t been executing well lately, putting bunts down and we have to do that to create runs.”

Abreu offered another thought.

“I believe we have missed doing little things and probably that got us into this bad streak,” he said.