Hamilton hits first spring dinger; Trout, Tracy go deep
Blanton struggles, gives up four runs, six hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings
PHOENIX -- Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Chad Tracy all homered to power the streaking Angels past the Brewers, 9-6, at Maryvale Baseball Park on Saturday.
Trout hit a two-run home run off Brewers starter Kyle Lohse in the first inning and Hamilton hit a solo shot just inside the right-field foul pole in the fifth, but the Angels needed a four-run seventh inning against Francisco Rodriguez to cap a comeback. Tracy punctuated that rally by hitting a 2-0 pitch for a long, three-run home run and an 8-5 lead.
Rodriguez, who is still dealing with pain in his left foot from stepping on a cactus, had allowed only one earned run in his previous three Cactus League appearances. Only one of the four Angels runs against him was earned because of Rodriguez's own error on an errant pickoff throw.
The Brewers were charged with four errors Saturday after committing five against the Rangers the day before.
Trout and Hamilton each had two hits, and Hamilton scored two runs. The Angels have won four games in a row.
"Josh is putting a lot of work in," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said about Hamilton. "He's working hard in the mornings, he's down getting live BP in the lower fields, and he carried that over into the game today and had some good at-bats."
For Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff home run on the same day manager Ron Roenicke confirmed he'd be the Brewers' leadoff hitter to begin the season. Bench candidate Elian Herrera had two hits and three RBIs, and scored a run in the fifth inning when Lohse blooped a single to right field. On the mound, Lohse allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven.
"The pitch to Trout, I would have been more mad had I walked him than given up the homer," Lohse said. "After that, I kind of settled in. The Hamilton one, he just pulled his hands in -- that ball was off the plate, in. You make your pitch and you have to live with what happens. He did an amazing job hitting that one."
Angels right-hander Joe Blanton started with L.A.'s regular lineup for the first time after pitching in the road half of split-squad games in each of his three starts. Without a spot in the starting rotation he is potential trade bait, but surrendered four earned runs on six hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts.
Up next: Garrett Richards will make his fourth Cactus League start when the Angels host the Indians and right-hander Zach McAllister at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Sunday. Richards, who has a 5.40 ERA in 11 2/3 innings this spring, pitched in a Minor League game against the Triple-A Cubs five days earlier, giving up one run in six innings. Sunday's game starts at 1:10 p.m. PT and can be seen on FOX Sports West or MLB.TV.