The Los Angeles Angels finally moved into the second wild card spot in the division, further boosting their playoff hopes.

The Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on April 19 at Kauffman Stadium behind a pair of home runs from Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.메이저사이트

The Angels, who have gone 11-3 in their last 14 games, including four straight sweeps, improved to 41-33 and moved into second place in the AL West. The Houston Astros (39-33) dropped to third place with a 7-9 loss to the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the day. One game separates the two teams. It’s been 36 days since the Angels reclaimed second place in the division, since April 14.

The Angels, who are 4.5 games back of the division-leading Texas Rangers, are also in second place in the AL Wild Card race behind the Baltimore Orioles (44-27), meaning they are in the top three wild-card spots for a playoff berth.

Aside from the jump in the standings, one of the Angels’ biggest wins of the day was the resurgence of Trout. Prior to this three-game series against Kansas City, Trout was in a severe June slump, batting just .111. After looking relatively subdued as Ohtani unleashed cannonball after cannonball, Trout was more energetic than usual after his home run.

In the top of the fifth inning, right after Ohtani led off with a double, Trout lined a 90.6-mph fastball from Zack Greinke over the left-center field fence for a solo shot. His 15th home run of the season with a 31-degree launch angle, 105.4 mph bat speed and 408 feet of travel. It was the first time in 11 days that Ohtani had homered since Aug. 8 against the Chicago Cubs.

After going 1-for-4 on the first day and 2-for-4 on the second day of the three-game set, Ohtani went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk to complete his resurgence. He raised his batting average to .257 after dropping to .248.

He and Ohtani have hit it off. The Angels are now 6-0 this season in games where Ohtani and Trout have homered together, and 20-8 (.714) overall. It was also the third time this season that Ohtani and Trout have hit back-to-back home runs.

After the game, Trout said, “I like how I’ve been hitting the last couple days. To be honest, I felt something change from yesterday. The biggest difference is that I’ve taken the pressure off, and I’m just moving forward,” he said. “It was a great feeling when Ohtani handed me his hat as I walked into the dugout.”

“The reason I’m trying to play calmly is because my team is still winning. If we were losing, a home run would be a different story. It shows how strong we are. “Obviously, what Shohei has been doing the past two weeks is unbelievable,” he said, adding, “It’s not just one player. The other players have also played well. I’m happy to be part of that,” he said.

“When you have two guys hitting home runs, you have to win,” said Nevin. Especially when those two guys are hitting, you’re going to win. Hopefully they can lead the team for a long time.”

According to FanGraphs, the Angels have a 46.1 percent chance of making the playoffs, more than doubling their odds from a month ago. It remains to be seen if Ohtani and Trout will be able to enjoy fall baseball together for the first time this year.

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