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Mike Trout shows his MVP credentials once again

One of the greatest ever?

Mike Trout

Mike Trout | AP

Mike Trout had RBI singles and scored in three-run sixth and eighth innings as the Angels rallied to top the Royals, 9-6, on Monday night at Angel Stadium.

Trout finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBIs and a walk, extending his Major League lead in walks and on-base percentage to 51 and .450.

"Just tried not to do too much, get a pitch I could hit, and not miss," Trout said. "Just try not to do too much and just barrel [the ball] up. I did that tonight."

After the Angels grabbed their first lead in the sixth, 6-5, Noe Ramirez gave up a game-tying homer to Salvador Perez a half-inning later. But the Angels were the ones who landed the last blow, in the form of three straight RBI singles in the eighth that served as the final arbiter of a back-and-forth series opener.

 

Martin Maldonado started off the eighth inning with a hard-fought walk, on seven pitches, before being pinch-run for by Kaleb Cowart. Michael Hermosillo followed with a walk of his own. After Ian Kinslerstruck out, Trout hit a slow dribbler up the middle that scooted into center field to bring home Cowart, making it 7-6.

"That guy was pretty funky," said Trout, referring to the hop on his single. "Once I got to two strikes, I was just trying to put the ball in play, and I just found a hole up the middle."

Justin Upton singled to right two pitches later to bring home Hermosillo, then Albert Pujols followed up by knocking in Trout for the second time in three innings.

Upton also added a solo homer in the fifth inning, and went 3-for-4 overall with two RBIs and a walk.

 

Nick Tropeano allowed five earned runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision. He had come into Monday having allowed three runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, but his splitter and fastball placement wasn't up to par against the Royals.

"Obviously, I didn't have my best stuff today," Tropeano said. "Having a leadoff guy on there almost every inning isn't a recipe for success. I felt good physically. I think I let up a lot of 0-2 hits, and that's just a matter of putting them away, executing pitches, especially with runners in scoring position.

"I'd say my fastball command wasn't quite what it was, as crisp the last two outings, and I think that's what led to the five runs."

Five relievers accounted for the other 4 1/3 innings -- Jim Johnson, Jose Alvarez, Ramirez, Cam Bedrosian and Blake Parker combining to allow just one run, Perez's homer.

"That's a team," Tropeano said. "We're gonna pick each other up. Offense picked me up huge, bullpen picked me up huge, and we got the win."

 Avery Yang MLB.com

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