The anti-Albert Pujols faction of the St. Louis fan base that stayed up late Tuesday night to root against the Angels slugger in his first game against the Cardinals went to bed happy. Pujols was hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts. The rest of the fans who care little about Pujols, who left St. Louis after a decorated 11-year career there to sign a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Angels before 2012? Not so much. The Angels bunched six singles in a five-run second inning to back a superb seven-inning effort by ace Jered Weaver, and first baseman Mark Trumbo made a game-saving play in the eighth inning of a 5-1 victory over the Cardinals that extended the Angels' win streak to seven. Trailing, 5-1, St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth when Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig singled off reliever Kevin Jepsen. Scott Downs came on to strike out Matt Adams, and David Freese followed with a one-hop smash that appeared headed to right field. But Trumbo made a spectacular backhanded diving stab and scrambled to his feet to throw to second. Shortstop Erick Aybar relayed a strong throw to Downs covering first in time to complete an inning-ending double play. "That ball was a rocket — to be able to turn a double play on it was impressive," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "Mark got it started, and Erick made an equally tough turn and throw to hit a moving target in Downs. It was a terrific play." The play helped preserve the second win of the season for Weaver, who missed seven weeks of April and May because of a broken left elbow but appears to have hit his stride after opening with a 1-4 record and 4.65 earned-run average.
Angels top Cardinals, 5-1, for seventh win in a row
Los Angeles Times | Jul 3