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Wins piling up for Angels after sudden turnaround

For much of the first month and a half of the MLB season, victory did not come often for the American League West Los Angeles Angels. However, of late, it seems victory is being pulled like a magnet into the Angels dugout each game.

On Saturday, the Angels earned their seven consecutive win with a 7-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

On paper, it looked like the Royals would have the advantage over the Angels on Saturday. Kansas City had Jeremy Guthrie starting on the mound, while the Angels had Billy Buckner who was making his first appearance in the Majors since May of 2010.

Buckner did what he was supposed to – five innings of shutout baseball. Four relievers worked a scoreless inning each and the Los Angeles recorded its seven straight win.

Buckner was the 10th different pitcher to start for the Angels in just 49 games this season and 21st overall for the team.

The Angels have had problems with pitching and Saturday’s game was an example. Four of the five players who pitched for LA on Saturday, were not even on the team’s roster on opening day.

The improvement of the team’s starting pitching is what is most notable in the team’s turnaround. During April, starters for the Angels had an ERA of 5.32.

During the current seven game winning streak, the starters have an ERA of just 1.76. With Jered Weaver’s return getting closer and closer, it appears the Angels have started to turn a problem into somewhat of an advantage.On offense, Mike Trout has been the catalyst for the team again this season. On Saturday, Trout walked in inning number 4, stole second, advanced to third on the catchers throwing error and scored when Albert Pujols grounded out to third. No hits, one walk, one run and it turned out to be enough for the win as the Royals could not push across a run against the Angels pitchers.

When Trout scores at least one run, the Angels have a record of 18-9, when he does not score, the team is a lowly 4-18.

Now the lofty expectations are starting to return for a team that thought they would contend for the division title when the season started last month.

Nevertheless, the Angels still have a lofty mountain to climb. Los Angeles is currently in third place in the division 10 games behind the first place Texas Rangers and 5 ½ behind the second place Oakland Athletics.

However, the team is headed in the right direction, the long hot days of summer are in front of each team and the Angels still have 113 games to make up that 10 game deficit.

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