ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels are finally getting the offensive production they’ve craved all season.
Mike Trout, C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart all homered in a seven-run third inning, JC Ramirez pitched eight strong innings and the Angels defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 Wednesday night.
It was the fifth consecutive game the Angels scored at least six runs.
“We’ve got some guys swinging the bats better,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re getting our lineup a little deeper and pressuring teams.”
Trout and Cron hit two-run homers and Cowart a solo shot in the third, all seven runs coming against right-hander Jake Thompson. It was the 20th home run of the season for Trout. Martin Maldonado hit two doubles in the inning.
“One bad inning really cost us,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, “and we didn’t swing the bats very well.”
Ramirez (10-9) gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out three in the longest outing of his career. Edward Paredes threw a scoreless ninth to give the Angels their ninth shutout of the season.
This is the first season Ramirez has been used as a starter.
“JC just keeps going,” Scioscia said. “For him being in uncharted waters . now getting into some innings he’s never really been this deep as a starter. He just keeps doing it. His confidence is very high. That was a great eight innings he gave us.”
The victory was the fourth in five games as Los Angeles pulled three games behind the final American League wild-card spot.
“We’re just trying to win series,” Trout said. “We’re getting hot. It’s good to see. We knew we were capable of doing it. It’s fun to be out there.”
Thompson (1-1) went five innings for the Phillies. Only two of the seven runs were earned – thanks to Cesar Hernandez’s fielding error. It was Thompson’s second start since replacing Jeremy Hellickson in the rotation after he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on July 28.
“He didn’t have good command,” Mackanin said. “He was spraying the ball all over the place.”
The Phillies lost to the Angels for the 11th consecutive time. Philadelphia was on a five-game winning streak until dropping the last two to Los Angeles.
The Angels hit three home runs in one inning for the first time this season.
Trout’s 20th home run put him in some elite company. He joined Alex Rodriguez, Tony Conigliaro and Mickey Mantle as the only players in American League history to hit at least 20 homers six times before their age 26 season. He turns 26 on Tuesday.
“It means a lot just to have your name with the all-time greats,” Trout said. “Obviously you don’t think about this stuff until it happens, but it’s pretty special to me.”
The way the Angels battered the right-hander around in the third inning left Mackanin uncertain if he would remain in the Philadelphia rotation.
“We’ll talk about that,” Mackanin said. “I’m not sure. We’ll see what we’ve got.”
Phillies: With Nick Williams sick and Aaron Altherr still bothered by a sore hamstring, bother outfielders were out of the lineup. … OF Daniel Nava (hamstring) was activated and started in right.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (oblique) is scheduled to come off the disabled list Saturday and make his first start since April 29. … OF Cameron Maybin (right knee sprain) ran the bases for a second consecutive day and is nearing a rehab assignment. … 3B Yunel Escobar sat out the game with lower back soreness.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-7, 4.56 ERA) is scheduled to make his first career start against the Angels on Thursday. Since coming off the DL with an upper back strain, he is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in four starts.
Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (5-1, 2.83) is also scheduled to make his first career start against the Phillies. Bridwell is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last four starts. Angels are 8-1 in games he has pitched.
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