PHILADELPHIA -- The Angels' 5-1 road trip happened almost despite Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, the two superstar hitters who went a combined 8-for-53 and saw their respective batting averages plummet.
But Wednesday's 3-0 win at Citizens Bank Park may have provided indications that they're going in the right direction.
Trout went 5-for-27 during the six games, striking out 10 times to up his American League-leading total to 50. But he talked to Pujols about his swing, made a key adjustment to get shorter and saw some results in the finale, lining out hard to straightaway center field and hitting a triple off the right-center field fence.
"I got more in my legs after that first at-bat," said Trout, whose batting average has dropped from .327 to .269 since April 29. "I felt long and I wasn't short like I usually am. I started talking with the guys, Albert, about getting into your legs a little more. And I felt good these last at-bats. I was a little jumpy in my last at-bat, but it's coming. It's right there."
Pujols finished the trip 3-for-26, but he went 2-for-5 and scored two runs in Wednesday's win, lining a double down the right-field line in the first and then smoking a single to left-center field in the third.
The key with Pujols is health, and the 34-year-old first baseman admitted that four days on the turf at Rogers Centre -- where he served as the designated hitter in two games -- was tough on his lower half, especially when followed by a quick turnaround for two National League games.
But he felt a lot better by the finale.
"It's tough," Pujols said, his batting average dropping from .299 to .264 since April 26. "I tell you what, I was great until Monday. Monday I was pretty beat up. I think Monday, I didn't feel comfortable at the plate at all. It was one of those things. It happens. Finally, it got to me. The turf. I felt like I didn't have my legs underneath. I was glad to get out of there for sure. I hate four-game series and I hate two-game series."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less