Hot bats give Angels rare blowout in 12-3 victory over Rays
Mike Napoli drove in six runs with a first-inning RBI double, a third-inning grand slam and a fourth-inning bases-loaded walk, Howie Kendrick had a career-high five hits and scored twice, and Hideki Matsui added a three-run double in the first as the Angels broke out of an offensive funk with a 12-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Angel Stadium.
Dan Haren bounced back from last Friday night's shoddy start in Minnesota, allowing one run and three hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking four, to improve to 2-4 as an Angel.
After giving up seven runs and 11 hits in seven innings of Friday's 7-2 loss, Haren said he was "embarrassed with the way I threw the ball," calling his performance since his July 25 trade from Arizona "unacceptable."
Wednesday's performance was more than acceptable. After his second pitch of the game was hit for a solo home run by John Jaso in the first, the right-hander blanked Tampa Bay on two hits through the sixth inning.
The Angels backed Haren with an offensive attack that featured 17 hits and equaled a season high for runs. In fact, the eight runs the Angels scored in the first three innings Wednesday were more runs than they had scored in their previous three games combined -- six.
Kendrick had a double and four singles, the first five-hit game by an Angel since Kendry Morales against Oakland on Aug. 28, 2009, Jeff Mathis keyed a three-run fourth with a two-run double, and Torii Hunterand Matsui each scored three runs for the Angels.
Napoli had a chance for a huge day, coming up with the bases loaded in three straight at-bats, in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He drove his 21st homer of the season and second career grand slam off Rays starter Jeff Niemann in the third, drew a walk off reliever Andy Sonnanstine in the fourth and popped out to first in the fifth.
Matsui, who jump-started the Angels with his three-run double to right in the first, also drew two walks and reached on an infield single in the fifth, giving the designated hitter 18 hits in his last 35 at-bats, an average of .514 over his last 10 games. Kendrick is hitting .529 (18 for 34) over his last eight games.
-- Mike DiGiovanna