Mike Trout is back. Yay! The Angels’ offense isn’t. Hmmmm.
The American League MVP and all-around baseball superstar was back in the lineup Friday night after missing six weeks due to a thumb injury. He singled and stole a base, but that was not nearly enough as the Halos dropped a 2-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays in Anaheim.
In losing in 10 innings, the Angels recorded just five hits and wasted a strong pitching performance by Ricky Nolasco. Now 45-48, the team is in third place in the AL West. That also means three games out in the wild card race.
“Mike’s a player that makes everybody around him better,” Angel manager Mike Scioscia said. “We need him, so hopefully, he’ll get settled, and these groupings will work, and we’ll get some offense, but Mike’s obviously a huge part of that.”
Nolasco had an outstanding outing, working seven innings and giving up just two hits and one run. He struck out six batters and walked two. After a first inning home run by Evan Longoria, he shut down the Rays offense.
The Angels tied the score in the second on a home run by Albert Pujols (his 14th of the season) and the game was decided in the 10th when Brad Miller doubled Wilson Ramos home in the top of the inning.
On Saturday, the Angels will send J.C. Ramirez (8-7) to the mound in pursuit of the first win of the “second half” of the season.