Halos, Dodgers both in first

MIKE TROUT was hit by a pitch on Sunday. No broken bones, but he may miss some games (Flickr/Keith Allison).

Did you feel the tremor that went through the world of baseball on Sunday?

With wins, the Angels and Dodgers are both in first place in their respective divisions. We know it’s early, and we’re not sure the last time this happened, but it may have been during the first Eisenhower term.

After defeating the Texas Rangers in Arlington by the score of 8-3, the Halos are 6-4, which puts them in first in the American League West with the Houston Astros a half-game back.

It was a sweep of the home team and a three-game winning streak. Time to break out the champagne? Not yet. In a disturbing echo of Angel games past, Mike Trout was smacked by a pitch in the fifth inning.

“It could have hit me anywhere, but it hit me in my hand,” said Trout. His left hand, to be specific.

An X-ray was negative, meaning nothing was broken, but he’s out of the lineup for a while. ‘”Day to day,” as they say. Angel fans say, “Yikes! Mike missed most of last season with an injury which – at first – seemed ‘day to day’.”

Aside from that potential disaster, the Angels looked good in the Lone Star state. Shohei Ohtani, the leadoff man whose first few games led nowhere at the plate, has gotten hot, hitting three home runs and getting the key hits in Saturday’s 7-2 win.

“His home run was a big at-bat at the time,” said Angels manager Joe Maddon.

Just as pleasing has been the early start by Noah Syndergaard, who is 2-0 on the mound and who is showing every sign of being fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. He should get even better.

“I don’t have triple-digit stuff yet,” he said, referring to 100-mile-an hour pitches. “It’s my first year back. I want to focus on pitching and not so much on throwing hard. I do want to get that hundo (100 mph) going again.”

Can the Angels do the Texas magic in Houston? They’ll face the Astros for a three-game series starting today (Monday). Let’s hope that sometime in there Mike can lend them a hand. Get it?

The Dodgers wielded their brooms as well, sweeping the Cincinnati Reds in three games, capped by Sunday’s 9-1 win. They’re 7-2 and tied for first in the National League West with – whom else? – the San Francisco Giants.

They did it with the help of former Angel Andrew Heaney, who worked six one-hit innings. He struck out 11 batters and walked only three.

“I had a good feel for the fastball and the slider,” said Heaney. “I think my confidence has grown with that breaking ball.”

The Blue Crew has a six-game winning streak and hosts the Atlanta Braves (5-6) in a three-game set starting today.


The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4 at Honda Center on Sunday. They’re 30-33-4, good for 74 points and sixth place in the NHL Pacific Division. Next up is a game Tuesday hosting the Los Angeles Kings (40-27-10, 90 points and third place in the Pacific) at Honda Center …

FINAL OUT: It’s good to be playing good baseball,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.  Yes, that’s probably the consensus.

 “Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica.



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