ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Atlanta Braves were very happy to hang a crooked number, six, on the scoreboard Monday night in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
After scoring just six runs in their three previous games combined, the six-run third inning the Braves enjoyed looked massive.
It was an additional plus that four of the runs came courtesy of players relatively new to the lineup. Former Cardinal Matt Adams and ex-Twin Danny Santana each had two-run hits in the inning.
That was enough for starter Jose Teheran (4-4), who worked solo home runs by Andrelton Simmons, Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena in a 6 1/3-inning effort. The Braves then got 2 2/3 innings of solid relief from the bullpen.
Teheran allowed six hits and one walk while striking out five.
“I felt pretty good tonight,” Teheran said. “I made a couple of mistakes on high fastballs. I wanted to throw the ball inside to Albert and did, but he just hit it anyway.”
It was the 598th home run of Pujols’ career.
“I’m glad I won’t be the one to give up No. 600,” Teheran said, smiling.
The Braves were also pleased, yet understanding, that No. 27 was not in the Los Angeles lineup.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout, a two-time American League MVP, was placed on the disabled list before the game and will be out six to eight weeks after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb sliding while during the Sunday game at Miami.
X-rays after the game Sunday came back negative, but a MRI exam Monday morning showed a clear tear. After consulting with the front office and Dr. Steven Shin, Trout chose to undergo surgery Wednesday.
This is the first major injury in the 26-year-old phenom’s major league career. He was leading the AL in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and he was tied for the lead in home runs with 16.
“We go after whoever is in the lineup,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the win. “But we certainly know how they feel because we lost our big guy, too.”
Braves star Freddie Freeman is on the disabled list with a fractured wrist.
Even with a healthy Trout, the Angels have struggled to score runs. They have plated three runs or fewer in 28 games, more than half of their contests.
“This is the best course of action for Mike,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re all comfortable with his decision. Mike has been the lion’s share of our offense, and even with him, we’re not firing on all cylinders.
“Losing Mike is huge because of the way he plays the game with so much passion. But it has to be more than one guy. We need a lot of guys who haven’t been producing the first third of the season to step up.”
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Simmons’ home run to center, his fifth of the season. Simmons extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
The Braves sent 11 batters to the plate in the third. All six runs came with two outs, and four of the runs were unearned. Third baseman Cliff Pennington committed an error, and he also couldn’t handle a soft roller that went for a single.
Besides the two-run hits by Adams and Santana, Rio Ruiz added an RBI single in the inning.
Teheran ran into trouble just once outside of the home runs. With one out in the seventh, he hit catcher Martin Maldonado and allowed singles by Pennington and Eric Young Jr. to load the bases.
Jose Ramirez relieved Teheran and got Cameron Maybin to hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
With Nolasco gone after 2 2/3 innings, five Angels relievers held the Braves to one hit and struck out nine in 6 1/3 scoreless innings.
Braves closer Jim Johnson picked up his 11th save of the season with a one-hit ninth inning.
NOTES: The Braves had lost four of their previous five games coming into their first series in Anaheim since 2011. The Angels fell for the fifth time in six games … OF Eric Young Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to take CF Mike Trout’s place on the Angels’ roster. The nine-year major league veteran started in left field, went 1-for-4 and stole two bases. … Los Angeles SS Andrelton Simmons is hitting .435 in his past 16 games. … Angels RHP Ricky Nolasco had allowed 29 runs coming into the game, 21 of them via the home run. … Atlanta 2B Brandon Phillips (right knee contusion) might be able to play Tuesday after missing the Monday game, Braves manager Brian Snitker said.