ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout's bat is a major reason the Los Angeles Angels have the best record in baseball and appear destined to end a four-year postseason drought.
Trout tied a career high with his 30th home run, Gordon Beckham homered for the first time with his new club, and the Angels improved to 79-53 with a 6-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
"It's always cool to reach 30. But we have other things in our minds, like trying to reach the playoffs," Trout said. "We're still got a month left, so the only thing that's important is winning games."
Trout, who leads the majors with 71 extra-base hits and 283 total bases, chased Miami starter Henderson Alvarez in the seventh inning with a one-out drive into the trees beyond the center field fence to make it 5-1.
"I feel good at the plate and I'm not chasing too many pitches," Trout said. "When I get in trouble, I get too anxious and I chase. But the last couple of games I've been feeling good. I don't try to hit home runs. I just try to put good swings on the ball and hope for the best. I've just been barreling some balls and they've gone over the fence."
Hector Santiago (4-7) ended a string of six consecutive no-decisions in a starting role, helping the Angels maintain their one-game lead in the AL West over Oakland.
Santiago struck out six in 5 2-3 innings and allowed three hits, including Adeiny Hechavarria's leadoff homer in the third, his sixth in 1,100 career at-bats to that point. The left-hander fanned his next five batters and didn't allow another hit until Jeff Baker's two-out single in the sixth.
Alvarez (10-6) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings after winning his previous four starts. The right-hander had pitched shutouts in his previous three interleague starts.
The Angels took the lead with three runs in the third. Trout hit an RBI single, Kole Calhoun scored on Albert Pujols' groundout, and Josh Hamilton lined an RBI double off the center field fence. Hamilton missed his first homer at Angel Stadium this season by just a few feet.
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