LOS ANGELES -- Success in this game, skipper Mike Scioscia will quickly tell you, requires a lot more than two players. But there's no doubt the Angels' offense is dangerous if Mike Trout (young, dynamic leadoff hitter) and Albert Pujols (tenured, transcendent middle-of-the-order bat) are clicking at the same time.
And finally, that's what's taking place.
Trout hasn't stopped impressing since his late-April callup, batting .354 with six homers and 15 stolen bases, continually building momentum for the American League Rookie of the Year Award and perhaps even a trip to the All-Star Game. Pujols, meanwhile, has finally looked like the hitter he's always been, batting .375 with six homers and 19 RBIs during a 19-game stretch that has seen his batting average go from .211 to .260.
Since the start of May, Pujols has driven in 33 runs, which is tied for fourth in the Majors. Twelve of those times -- including the game-winning run, with two outs in the ninth inning on Monday night -- Trout has scored.
"I tell you one thing, Albert has seen a lot in this game, but his eyes light up at some of the things Mike does," Scioscia said. "He appreciates what Mike is doing."
Pujols spoke glowingly about Trout late Monday night -- about his athleticism, aggressiveness, grit, humility and plate discipline.
But he stopped short of making a comparison.
"He's too young to compare with anybody," Pujols said. "Right now, he's just Mike Trout, and he's just playing the game the right way, playing the game hard. You ask him that, and he's going to tell you that. I'm really excited that my next 10 years, I'm going to spend it here with him, [Mark] Trumbo and Peter [Bourjos]. Those guys are going to keep me young."