It’s a West Coast turnaround

MIKE TROUT has plenty to smile about. He’s hit five home runs in five games (Flickr/Ian D’Andrea).

Back in the saddle again … as Gene Autry might put it.

After struggling through a dry period when both teams slipped a place in the standings, the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers each have rallied with wins and regained their former places in the Major League Baseball races.

On Sunday, the Angels got their fourth win in five games and moved back into third place in the American League West. The Halos got some pretty nice pitching over that stretch, but the principal damage was done by Mike Trout.

He hit five home runs in five games and turned in some spectacular defensive plays in centerfield  Now– after a prolonged slump – he is again the one guy in the MLB you didn’t want to pitch to.

But the Seattle Mariners did, to their chagrin.

“It’s incredible,” said Jimmy Herget, Trout’s road roommate. “I mean, guys keep pitching to him, which is hilarious. He’s the best player on the planet –one of the best players on the planet; we got another one here, too. It’s incredible to watch him play.”

When the dust had settled in Seattle, the Halos were 33-36 and leapfrogged the Texas Rangers into second in the AL West and helped keep alive the team’s hopes for a wild card berth.

Back at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers – over the weekend – managed to pass the San Diego Padres and move back into first place in the National League West by a half-game.

The Blue Crew’s advance came at a bittersweet time. After Saturday’s 7-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians came the news that Mookie Betts was on the injured list after Wednesday’s collision with Cody Bellinger.


That cracked rib could be a big fracture in the Dodgers’ offense. Before he was sidelined, Betts – the 2018 American League MVP – was hitting .273 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs.

“It’s certainly a big blow to us,” said Dodger manager Dave Roberts. “But knowing and having the information, at least there is solace in that. A week from now, we’ll know more. Hopefully we can get him back sooner than later.”

Final out: Kyla Paterson, a transgender athlete, on playing sports in Iowa. “When I was in high school, people called me a monster because I was bigger than the other girls. That’s what they see us as now. They see us as not human and as predators.”

“Sports Monday” is written by Pete Zarustica with wire service reports.

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