Rookie Mike Trout hit a pair of home runs and had five RBIs to help the Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 13-6 Tuesday night at Safeco Field. The win allowed the Angels keep to pace with the first-place Texas Rangers, keeping them 3 1/2 games back.
Trout effect. The Angels are 5-0 in games Trout has started since his latest promotion from Double-A. That's not a coincidence. The 20-year old is 9-for-22 (.409) with three home runs in that time. It's getting harder and harder to justify any lineup that doesn't have Trout in it on a daily basis. Bobby Abreu and Vernon Wells might have to get used to splitting the remaining playing time because time is running short in this pennant race.
Continuity. Everybody in the starting lineup got on base at least once. Seven different starters drove in at least one run. Eight guys scored at least once. If the Angels had balanced offense like this more often, they'd be sitting in first place on top of a fat lead.
Fifth starter. The Angels gave Jerome Williams plenty of run support and he knew what to do with it, getting through seven innings. His story continues to be one of the more compelling ones on the Angels this year: a former first-round draft pick who was out of the majors for nearly six years, then comes back to help out a team in a pennant race. The ending hasn't been written yet, of course.
Wally Pipp? Bobby Abreu has had a long, extraordinary major-league career and he has reached career milestones that put him in elite company. But he might want to read up on the Yankees first baseman replaced by Lou Gehrig, because Trout might be on the verge of pulling one on him.
Rays. The Angels are big fans of Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon since he worked at Angel Stadium for 30-plus years before getting the Rays job. Right now, they wouldn't mind a little more help, however. Maddon's Rays are 1-3 vs. Texas this season, including Tuesday night's 2-0 loss.
Relief candidate. Bobby Cassevah and his power sinker were beginning to emerge as promising candidates for that seventh-inning relief role that nobody seems able to grab. Cassevah took a step back, though, with a shaky inning (three hits and two runs).