By JILL PAINTER LOPEZ Associated Press
ANAHEIM (AP) — Mike Trout is feeling better in the batter’s box than he has all year.
The two-time MVP homered and drove in two runs to help the Los Angeles Angels erase a four-run deficit Sunday in a 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers.
“At the plate I felt great today,” Trout said. “I haven’t felt like that all season. Just got to keep doing the same thing and take it into tomorrow.”
The Angels have a day game Monday in Oakland. They headed to Northern California on the heels of two comeback wins after a five-game losing streak.
Trout went 2 for 3 with a walk and his 12th home run, tied with Tommy La Stella for the team lead.
“Last few weeks I’ve just been battling and thinking too much,” Trout said. “Today I just went up there and hit it and felt the best. It’s a crazy game. … Just keeping it simple.”
Trout hit a solo homer in the first inning to give the Angels an early lead. Later, he and Kole Calhoun scored on wild pitches to cap a six-run seventh.
Shohei Ohtani tied it at 5 with a sacrifice fly off reliever Jeffrey Springs (2-1). Trout and Calhoun then dashed home in consecutive plate appearances, with Trout’s run giving the Angels the lead and Calhoun, diving headfirst, extending it to 7-5.
Luis Rengifo contributed to the rally with a two-run single.
With runners at the corners, pinch-hitter Nomar Mazara grounded out against Justin Anderson to end it. Anderson allowed an RBI double to Shin-Soo Choo but earned his first save of the season.
Choo and Hunter Pence each hit a solo homer for Texas. But the bullpen faltered, with Springs allowing four earned runs and Kyle Dowdy one. Springs gave up four hits in the seventh and didn’t get an out.
“That falls on me,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Those guys have to get engaged more. We have had a lot of close games where we haven’t been able to get those guys in. They are out there competing. Springs did the best he could. I don’t expect his command to be perfect. Part of that falls on me, not getting them in there enough.”
Andrew Heaney pitched well in his season debut for Los Angeles. Heaney, bothered by elbow inflammation in spring training, struck out 10 and allowed two hits — both home runs — in five innings. He threw 85 pitches.
David Fletcher had three hits for the Angels. Luis Garcia (1-1) worked a scoreless inning for the win.
Pence had two hits and two RBIs, including a broken-bat RBI double in a three-run sixth that gave Texas a 5-1 lead. Logan Forsythe and Rougned Odor had run-scoring singles.
Rangers starter Ariel Jurado didn’t run into much trouble until the seventh. He was charged with two earned runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Rain started to fall in the second but it was never enough to cause a delay.
HARVEY SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS
After one of the worst starts of his career, Angels right-hander Matt Harvey landed on the injured list with a back strain. He took a couple of days off but said he would resume throwing Monday. He is not expected to get an MRI.
“It’s all right. It’s getting better,” Harvey said. “The last thing I wanted to do was be on the (IL) again. Clearly, it wasn’t something I could work through. It was kind of hurting performance. It’s something we’ve got to make sure is better, whether it was 10 days or a little bit longer. It will be something we have to figure out.”
Harvey, who gave up eight earned runs and seven hits – four of which were homers – in 2 2/3 innings against the Twins, said he didn’t tell anyone about his back issue because it was “a little bit me being stubborn and trying to fight through things.”
Harvey is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA.
Angels: OF Justin Upton (turf toe) will accompany the team on its eight-game road trip, but won’t be activated. … C Kevan Smith (seven-day concussion list) was cleared to resume baseball activities.
Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn (6-3, 4.67 ERA) pitches Monday at Seattle. Lynn had a season-best 11 strikeouts Tuesday against the Mariners. He is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts versus Seattle this season.
Angels: Felix Pena was expected to start Monday in Oakland but was used in relief on Sunday, so the Angels had not yet announced a starter.
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