ANAHEIM -- Mark Trumbo smashed a first-inning home run and drove in three runs to lead the Angels to a 7-3 win Monday night over the Seattle Mariners, who made five errors.
The win helped the Angels move to within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Texas Rangers, who lost 5-1 in Tampa Bay.
Hanging on. Dan Haren may never have had a worse quality start. He couldn't break 90 mph with his fastball and the Mariners smacked 10 hits off him in six innings, but he managed to avoid disaster and happened to pitch on a night when the Angels offense got rolling. Haren's stuff looks shaky lately. In his last three starts combined, he has allowed 26 hits and struck out just 13 batters. One thing that's consistent: He doesn't walk people.
Power. You don't think of the Angels' as a powerful offense, but since the start of August they have been surprisingly brawny. Mark Trumbo smashed his 26th home run and Vernon Wells hit his 20th. Torii Hunter missed his 20th by a couple of feet, but judging by his home-run trot, he thought he had it. The Angels have hit 44 home runs since Aug. 1. Only three teams in the league have hit more and those guys all play in band boxes.
Trumbo. His mediocre batting average and the emergence of some good young pitchers in the American League are the only possible reasons he wouldn't win Rookie of the Year. He's not just putting up numbers (including 80 RBIs), he's helping the Angels hang in this race. His first-inning shot jump-started the offense for the second time in three games. He added an RBI double.
Atmosphere. Maybe it's because people were a bit drained after a holiday weekend, but it didn't feel like much of a pennant race in Anaheim Monday night. The announced crowd of 35,497 was subdued. Maybe they still need a little more proof this team is for real, or maybe it was just a mellow evening.
The kid. Here's what we know about Mike Trout in extremely limited exposure to the major leagues: His talent is off the charts and he's a bit streaky. Trout made some nice plays in left field and he seems to be adapting well to being an outfield nomad, but he's been hitless in three of his last four games.
No 'D' in Seattle. Committing five errors in a game is a good way to lose. It's a surefire way to lose when you're starting a shaky pitcher. The Mariners, who just got swept by the Oakland A's, were absolutely awful. This is a good example of why strength of schedule matters in a pennant race.