Pujols continues torrid stretch with 2 homers

Slugger hits two homers to help sink Rays in Halos' fifth straight win

Pujols continues torrid stretch with 2 homers

ANAHEIM -- It was one of those classic Albert Pujols stares, the perfect blend of satisfaction and disdain. It re-emerged in the eighth inning late Monday night, when the menacing slugger turned on a 95-mph fastball, drove it into the Angels' bullpen, watched it sail for a couple of seconds and tossed his bat with one of those patented "how dare you?" dispositions.

"When you hit 500 of them, you can watch them," Mike Trout said, laughing, after the Angels' 7-3 win over the Rays. "I don't think anybody's going to say anything."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels crush four homers to sink Rays

Angels crush four homers to sink Rays

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols homered twice, and David Freese and Mike Trout also went deep, leading the Angels and their suddenly surging offense to a 7-3 victory over the Rays in Southern California on Monday night.

The Angels, coming off a four-game sweep of the Tigers, have won a season-high five straight games to put them a season-best four games above .500 at 28-24. The Rays have dropped seven of their last nine and are now 26-26.

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Bill Chastain and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Even in win, Richards finds ways to improve

Right-hander solid in series opener, but knows he's not at his best

Even in win, Richards finds ways to improve

ANAHEIM -- The numbers -- a 3.26 ERA, a 5-3 record, including the win in the Angels' 7-3 win over the Rays Monday night at Angel Stadium -- don't look bad for Garrett Richards. But his pitching hasn't exactly been all that good of late, either.

The right-hander seems like he's been fighting himself in his last three starts, all rocky -- five runs allowed to the Red Sox on May 22 and the Padres on May 27, three to the Rays on Monday night. He's especially struggled getting out of innings. In Richards' last two starts, all eight runs he allowed were scored with two outs.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frieri returns to Anaheim a different pitcher

Right-hander struggles before being DFA'd by Rays

Frieri returns to Anaheim a different pitcher

ANAHEIM -- Ernesto Frieri isn't the guy he once was, while with the Angels and thriving as their closer. And you don't have to look at his numbers or even his velocity to make that assumption.

He'll tell you himself.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson hopes to find success against Rays

Wilson hopes to find success against Rays

Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson will take the mound against the Rays on Tuesday night -- hoping for a better result than the last time he faced Tampa Bay -- in the second game of a three-game set at Angel Stadium.

Last August, Wilson returned from a three-week stint on the disabled list at Tropicana Field -- and his return lasted four outs, as he was knocked out in the second inning after giving up six runs. Wilson would prefer his start Tuesday to look more like the one he pitched five days ago, when he held the Tigers to one run on two hits over six innings.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Help send Trout, Pujols to All-Star Game

Help send Trout, Pujols to All-Star Game

ANAHEIM -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout remained second among American League outfielders in fan votes when the latest 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot was unveiled on Monday.

Trout has accumulated 2,371,435 votes, fourth overall in the AL behind three Royals players -- catcher Salvador Perez, third baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. The 23-year-old Trout entered June ranked 16th in the Majors in OPS (.923), while batting .295 with 12 homers, 27 RBIs and eight stolen bases.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels call up lefty Ibarra, DFA Brown

Outfielder Marte sent down to Triple-A with addition of reliever

Angels call up lefty Ibarra, DFA Brown

ANAHEIM -- The Angels continued to juggle their roster on Monday, selecting the contract of left-handed reliever Edgar Ibarra, sending corner outfielder Alfredo Marte back to Triple-A Salt Lake and designating center fielder Gary Brown for assignment.

With that, the Angels returned to the traditional 12-man pitching staff for Monday's series opener against the Rays -- partly because they used four relievers in Sunday's win over the Tigers, partly because Albert Pujols returned to first base.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giavotella's knock lifts Angels to four-game sweep

Giavotella's knock lifts Angels to four-game sweep

ANAHEIM -- With David Price out of the game Sunday night, the Angels finally broke through for two huge eighth-inning runs, with Johnny Giavotella's two-out, two-run single leading them to a 4-2 win and a four-game sweep of the Tigers at Angel Stadium.

Price turned in a bulldog performance -- throwing 121 pitches in 7 2/3 innings, and getting pinch-hitter Carlos Perez to pop into an infield fly with the bases loaded in his final at-bat of the night. But Joba Chamberlain, on in relief with the game tied at two, surrendered Giavotella's single up the middle, and Angels closer Huston Street locked up the win in the ninth.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Trout-Harper connection dates back to 2011

Before talented outfielders set baseball world on fire, they were AFL teammates

Trout-Harper connection dates back to 2011

ANAHEIM -- They are being linked again as the New Age version of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, exceptional talents with futures brighter than the sun over Southern California and South Florida.

The Angels' Mike Trout, at 23, already has reached dizzying heights as the 2014 American League Most Valuable Player Award winner, two-time MVP runner-up and three-time All-Star. The Nationals' Bryce Harper, 22, is doing everything in his considerable power to enter Trout's realm with a breakout 2015 season.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thriving under pressure, Giavotella comes up big

Go-ahead single in Angels' sweep is latest in string of high-leverage base hits

Thriving under pressure, Giavotella comes up big

ANAHEIM -- What about Johnny Giavotella?

The question should have been asked before Sunday night, but after the Angels' series-sweeping, 4-2 win over the Tigers at Angel Stadium -- when the second baseman delivered the go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning -- it had to be.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels to use halo for Alzheimer's awareness

Big "A" outside Angel Stadium will glow purple after each victory in June

Angels to use halo for Alzheimer's awareness

ANAHEIM -- Starting on Monday, if you're walking out of Angel Stadium after an Angels win, take a look up at the halo crowning the iconic 230-foot letter "A" sign -- it'll be glowing purple.

In an effort to raise Alzheimer's awareness, the Angels will be lighting the halo purple after every win during June -- which is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month -- as part of a partnership between the team and Alzheimer's Association, Orange County.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels flash power potential with 5 HRs

Production throughout lineup offers hope of breakout

Angels flash power potential with 5 HRs

ANAHEIM -- The home runs came from everywhere -- from the stellar (Mike Trout), from the solid (Kole Calhoun), from the surging (Albert Pujols and Matt Joyce), from the surprising (Carlos Perez) -- but it probably makes the most sense to start with the last Angel to hit one Saturday night.

That was Pujols, whose three-run gong reverberated deep into the night and sent the Angels toward an 8-6 win over the Tigers at Angel Stadium, their third straight to open the series. The arcing blast gave the Angels a season-high five home runs in the game, and a 7-1 lead, in the second inning, the last big blow in a balanced onslaught.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels' bats powered by Greene energy

Angels' bats powered by Greene energy

ANAHEIM -- The Angels got a season-high five home runs from five different players -- Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, Matt Joyce, Carlos Perez and Albert Pujols -- to beat the Tigers, 8-6, for a third straight night Saturday at Angel Stadium.

Detroit starter Shane Greene surrendered all five of the long balls in the shortest start of his young career -- a 1 2/3-inning, seven-run shelling. The last home run, a three-run jack by Pujols, put an early end to Greene's night.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols limited to hitting; Angels call up Navarro

First baseman to DH after tweaking groin; Smith, Aybar working through injuries

Pujols limited to hitting; Angels call up Navarro

ANAHEIM -- As the Angels prepared to play their third of four games against the Tigers at Angel Stadium on Saturday night, several key members of the club -- Joe Smith, Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols -- were still dealing with various injuries, with Pujols' necessitating a roster move.

Pujols aggravated his groin during his final at-bat of Friday night's game. Angels maanger Mike Scioscia said Pujols could hit but not field, which forced the Angels to use him at designated hitter and call up infielder/outfielder Efren Navarro from Triple-A Salt Lake for first-base depth.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angel Stadium hosts Pitch, Hit & Run event

Angel Stadium hosts Pitch, Hit & Run event

ANAHEIM -- As they gathered, some of the kids played catch with their dads, the occasional missed throw bouncing along the bricks outside the home-plate gate at Angel Stadium. Some of them swung bats. Some of them tucked the loud green T-shirts -- their uniforms for the morning -- into their baseball pants. Then they all pitched, hit and ran.

Twelve boys and 12 girls, ages 7-14, took part in the Angels' team championship round of the annual Pitch, Hit & Run presented by Scotts competition Saturday morning. The participants will be honored during an on-field ceremony before the Angels' game Saturday night.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols' homer backs Santiago in win over Tigers

Pujols' homer backs Santiago in win over Tigers

ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Hector Santiago kept a potent Tigers lineup scoreless over 7 1/3 innings in leading the Angels to a 2-0 win over the Tigers on Friday night.

The win also gave the Angels a 2-0 lead in the four-game set.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago, defense Angels' keys for success

Santiago, defense Angels' keys for success

ANAHEIM -- There was no repeat 12-run outburst on Friday night, but the Angels didn't need that, anyway. Mostly thanks to Hector Santiago and the eight men behind him on defense.

The Angels scored a 2-0 win over the Tigers in winning for the second straight time in the four-game series, and they did it with pitching and defense in a duel between Santiago and Anibal Sanchez.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia can opt out of contract following '15

Scioscia can opt out of contract following '15

ANAHEIM -- Could baseball's longest-tenured manager be in the midst of his final season with the Angels?

It's all up to Mike Scioscia himself.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Street notches four-out save with Smith out

Street notches four-out save with Smith out

ANAHEIM -- With the Angels trying to hold onto a two-run lead in the eighth inning of Friday night's 2-0 win over the Tigers, Joe Smith was, unexpectedly, nowhere to be seen.

It turned out the setup man was unavailable after feeling a twinge in his neck on Thursday. After the game, Smith said he had experienced the same issue once before, and it was minor.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aybar day to day with left hamstring issue

Aybar day to day with left hamstring issue

ANAHEIM -- Angels shortstop Erick Aybar was out of the starting lineup, as expected, on Friday against the Tigers, one day after tweaking his left hamstring while running up the first-base line.

Aybar felt just "a pinch" in his leg, and he hopes to return as early as Saturday.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iannetta, Joyce finding pop after slow starts

Duo combines for two homers, six RBIs in series-opening win over Detroit

Iannetta, Joyce finding pop after slow starts

ANAHEIM -- There was an expectation, even as the slumps prolonged and the season endured, that at some point, Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta would get going. They were healthy and in their prime, their track records for getting on base too extensive and too recent for them to fall off so drastically.

"You're going back maybe 10 months when these guys were really performing well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's in there."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels crush three homers in rout of Tigers

Angels crush three homers in rout of Tigers

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols and Matt Joyce hit early home runs, and Chris Iannetta came through with a late grand slam, to lead the Angels to a 12-2 win over the Tigers in Thursday's series opener at Angel Stadium.

Tigers right-hander Buck Farmer, starting in place of an injured Kyle Lobstein, was greeted by Pujols' line-drive two-run homer in the first inning and Joyce's long solo shot to right to open the second. Miguel Cabrera produced the Tigers' first run -- but with his foot, not his bat -- when he was hit by a C.J. Wilson pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the third. Jose Iglesias tacked on the other with a double in the ninth.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Newly-acquired Nieuwenhuis joins Angels

Outfielder gives Halos new option against right-handed pitching

Newly-acquired Nieuwenhuis joins Angels

ANAHEIM -- If you, like baseball writers across the country, are having a hard time with Kirk Nieuwenhuis' last name, don't feel so bad. Nieuwenhuis was once given a professional jersey that was missing that pesky little first "u," and he's never met anyone who could spell it right on the first try.

"My wife had a hard enough time with it," Nieuwenhuis said.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels place Cowgill on DL with wrist injury

Angels place Cowgill on DL with wrist injury

ANAHEIM -- What had seemed like a minor injury as recently as Monday has now landed Collin Cowgill on the disabled list. The Angels' outfielder was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained right wrist, retroactive to May 26, before Thursday's series opener against the Tigers at Angel Stadium.

"It's obviously significant enough to put him on the disabled list and know that it's going to take at least a couple weeks," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think the important thing is to calm it down. It's been evaluated, and I think the medical staff and doctors have an idea of how to treat it. But it's going to take a little bit of time. I know he's not going to do much this week, as far as picking up a bat. Hopefully, this thing will get healthy enough where he can start the progression."

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Richards on loss to Padres: 'I gave it away'

Richards on loss to Padres: 'I gave it away'

ANAHEIM - Garrett Richards put Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Padres squarely on his shoulders.

"You can't pitch like that, and not field your position, and expect to win," the Angels' young fireballer said. "These guys battled, played a great game, and I gave it away. It's a terrible feeling and something I'm going to have to eat."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joyce's HR not enough as Angels drop finale

Joyce's HR not enough as Angels drop finale

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton and Matt Kemp came up big late, leading the Padres to a 5-4 win on Wednesday night to take two of three at Angel Stadium.

With two on and two outs in the top of the seventh -- and the score knotted at 3 -- Upton snuck a grounder through the left side and Kemp dumped a base hit into shallow right field against Garrett Richards, giving San Diego a two-run lead.

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Corey Brock and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.