Luis Valbuena, Kole Calhoun combine for 3 HRs as Angels beat Blue Jays

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first_img Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Calhoun and Valbuena had been particular issues for the Angels this season. Right field is normally an offensive position, and because of Calhoun’s issues the Angels had the worst production in the majors out of the spot. Valbuena plays first and third, also positions typically manned by productive offensive players.Calhoun and Valbuena were also two of the Angels’ only left-handed hitters, so the lineup was out of balance without them producing.“We’ve talked for a couple weeks about how important Kole is to our club,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “To see him back and swinging the bat like he can, that’s big.”Calhoun was hitting .145 before going on the disabled list with a strained oblique, and he returned with a new stance. In his first three games back, he’s 4 for 10 with two homers. He hadn’t hit a homer since opening day.“I was hitting .145 and went on the DL, so you look at some things and try to simplify everything and come up with something,” Calhoun said, “and it’s paying off right now.”Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros In his 1,000th career game, Trout walked three times and scored twice. He has now reached base in 32 of his last 42 plate appearances, continuing what is on pace to be a historic season in a historic career.The Angels distributed a page full of facts and statistics about Trout’s performance after 1,000 games in relation to various Hall of Famers at the same juncture in their careers.Trout is hitting .308 with 224 homers, 483 extra-base hits, 617 RBIs, 175 stolen bases, 638 walks and 754 runs.The only other players with a .300 average, 450 extra-base hits and 150 stolen bases in their first 1,000 games are Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez. The only players with 480 extra-base hits and 600 walks are Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams.Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.For as amazing as Trout has been, the Angels have mostly muddled along – throughout his career and this season – because there haven’t been enough exceptional performances around Trout. Valbuena hadn’t hit a homer since May 29, when he hit two. He was in a 5-for-42 slump, including strikeouts in his first two at-bats on Thursday. He then belted homers in his next two at-bats, helping the Angels to their first two-game winning streak in two weeks.Valbuena said the explanation is simple: “When I swing at good pitches, in the strike zone, it makes a difference. That’s what happened to me. I swung at a lot of bad pitches and struggled the last two weeks, but I’ll be better. … I swing at good pitches, and you see what happens.”Scioscia said he’s encouraged that Valbuena can turn it around simply because of what he’s done throughout his career, specifically last year. In 2017, Valbuena slumped early, but he got hot in July and August and ended up hitting 22 homers with a .727 OPS.“If you look at Luis’ track record he gets real hot and then at times he gets cold,” Scioscia said. “There is no doubt that there is more OPS in his game, especially against right-handed pitchers. Once he finds it, he usually swings the bat like he did the second half of last year. That’s going to be something that we’re going to need.”The runs provided by Valbuena and Calhoun in the middle of the game helped take John Lamb off the hook after he had a disappointing outing in his hometown debut.A product of Laguna Hills High, Lamb had not pitched at Angel Stadium because he was in the National League for parts of two years in the big leagues. He got a start a day earlier than expected because Tyler Skaggs was scratched with hamstring tightness.“It meant a lot,” Lamb said. “It was pretty exciting. Pretty surreal to be honest, but at the same time just another baseball game. Try to go out there and help the team win. Separating all those childhood experiences that I had here, it was just a fun day to be out there.”It didn’t quite go as Lamb would have hoped. After a perfect first inning, the left-hander gave up single runs in the second, third and fourth innings, to fall behind 3-2.Noé Ramírez, though, entered and retired all eight hitters he faced, allowing the Angels time to come back and push their lead to as much as four runs.center_img Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak PreviousANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Andrelton Simmons #2 and Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 in a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to the dugout after signing autographs as a fan holds up a sign congratulating him on his 1,000th game played, prior to the team’s baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: John Lamb #46 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the second inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Aaron Sanchez #41 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: John Lamb #46 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the first inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Manager Mike Scioscia and bench coach Josh Paul #88 congratulate Justin Upton #8 after scoring on a single by Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the first inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #13 slides safely at home, scoring on a double by Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr., left, scores on a double by Justin Smoak as Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado stands at the plate during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Michael Hermosillo #59 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is unable to field an RBI double by Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Luke Maile #21 talks with Aaron Sanchez #41 of the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a double by Justin Smoak during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his two-run home run next to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: John Axford #77 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on after giving up a two-run homerun to Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, is congratulated by Andrelton Simmons after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Michael Hermosillo #59 and and Andrelton Simmons #2 congratulate Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his two-run homerun during the fourth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches his two-run homerun as Luke Maile #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays and umpire Laz Diaz look on during the fifth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena, right, gestures after hitting a two-run home run as Toronto Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile stands at the plate during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Kole Calhoun #56 congratulates Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on his two-run homerun during the fifth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Toronto Blue Jays’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr., right, hits a solo home run in front of Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Kendrys Morales #8 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts to hitting a solo homerun as Martin Maldonado #12 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on during the eighth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Aledmys Diaz #1 of the Toronto Blue Jays turns a double play as Michael Hermosillo #59 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slides into second base during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Toronto Blue Jays’ Randal Grichuk gestures after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws his bat after grounding out with bases loaded during the sixth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CA – JUNE 21: Andrelton Simmons #2 and Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrate defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-5 in a game at Angel Stadium on June 21, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to the dugout after signing autographs as a fan holds up a sign congratulating him on his 1,000th game played, prior to the team’s baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 23Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout runs to the dugout after signing autographs as a fan holds up a sign congratulating him on his 1,000th game played, prior to the team’s baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandANAHEIM — If the Angels are to keep up with Mike Trout’s historic season, they are going to need more nights like this one from their non-Trouts.Luis Valbuena and Kole Calhoun, two of the players who have struggled the most for the Angels this season, combined for three homers in the Angels’ 8-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday night.Valbuena had his second multi-homer game of the season, with a two-run homer and a solo blast. Calhoun hit a two-run shot in the fourth to put the Angels ahead for good.Meanwhile, Trout was Trout. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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