NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Vernon Wells #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits an RBI single in the third inning against the New York Mets on June 17, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Angels Use Power To Get Past Washington 11-5

Angels look to go over the .500 mark for the first time in almost a month.

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Angels Use Power To Get Past Nationals 11-5

The Angels used three home runs, including a two-run shot from Vernon Wells in the 6th, to muscle their way pat the Washington Nationals 11-5. The victory gives the Angels their 5th consecutive series win, plus it moves them over the .500 mark for the first time since June 3rd. This series has been a wake-up call to the Angels offense and they have 31 hits in their first two games against Washington.

The club has gone 11-5 over their last 16 games after dropping their previous six, and trail the Texas Rangers by a game and a half in the AL West.

The Halos entered the sixth inning trailing the Nats 5-3, but Erick Aybar led off the inning with his fifth homer of the season to move the Halo to within a run. Two batters later, Wells put the Angels on top to stay with his 10th home run of the season and his 3rd in the past four games.

In the 8th inning, the Angels batted around while scoring 5 more runs to put the game out of reach for Washington. The Angels strung together 5 straight hits with the two big blows coming from Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger. Trumbo doubled to deep center scoring Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo. That was followed by Hank Conger’s two-run blast to right, his first career home run at Angels Stadium.

Entering tonight’s game, the Angels had hit just 14 home runs in Anaheim compared to the 46 hit while on the road.

Hisanori Takahashi (2-1) gets the win after allowing an unearned run in the top half of the 6th. Angels starter Joel Pineiro lasted 5.2 innings, gaving up 3 earned runs on 8 hits, while striking out 2 and walking one.

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Nationals vs Angels: LINE-UPS

Torii Hunter returns to the starting lineup for the first time Tuesday night after sitting out the previous 4 games with a rib contusion.  Hunter injured his ribs after crashing into the right field wall while making a great catch in Florida last Wednesday.  Hunter fouled out to the catcher last night after replacing Mark Trumbo late in the game.

Washington Nationals
1. Roger Bernadina (L) CF
2. Jayson Werth (R) RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 3B
4. Laynce Nix (L) LF
5. Michael Morse (R) 1B
6. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
7. Wilson Ramos (R) C
8. Matt Stairs (L) DH
9. Ian Desmond (R) SS


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
1. Erick Aybar (S) SS
2. Torii Hunter (R) RF
3. Bobby Abreu (L) DH
4. Vernon Wells (R) LF
5. Howard Kendrick (R) 2B
6. Alberto Callaspo (S) 3B
7. Mark Trumbo (R) 1B
8. Hank Conger (S) C
9. Peter Bourjos (R) CF
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With A Win Over Washington Tuesday Night, Angels Can Move Over .500

Although they're quite not there yet, it's been almost a month since the Angels have been over .500.  With a win over the visiting Washington Nationals (40-39) tonight in Anaheim, the Halos will move a game over the .500 mark for the first time since June 3rd.  A win tonight will also guarantee the Angels (40-40) their fifth straight series win, their longest streak of the season and their longest since May of last season.

The Angels were 8 and 4 over their recent 12 game road trip, and have won 7 of their last ten, however the club hasn't fared as well at home.  Their record in Anaheim so far this season is 16-20, compared to a 24-20 mark on the road.  Fortunately the Halos have opened their current home stand against the national league Nationals and Dodgers, as the Angels are 9-4 in inter-league play this season.

Joel Pineiro (3-3, 4.09 ERA), making his 12th start of the season, looks to improve upon his recent string of 4-run starts.  The right-hander has given up exactly 4 earned run in six of his last seven starts, while going 1-3 with a 5.44 ERA.  In his last start Wednesday in Florida, Pineiro gave up 4 runs and eight hits over six innings.

Pineiro is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts against Washington.

Taking the mound for the visiting Nationals is Jason Marquis (7-2, 3.53 ERA).  The right-hander is 4-1 over his last nine starts, while the Nats have gone 8-1 with five straight wins over the same period.  In his last start, Marquis received a no-decision when he pitched 8 scoreless innings against the Mariners, allowing 3 hits while striking out 4 and walking three.    

Who's Hot - Last 7 Games:
Peter Bourjos - 7 for his last 18 (.389)
Maicer Izturis - 6 for his last 20 (.300), 1 2B, 1 HR
Erick Aybar - 8 for his last 23 (.348), 2 2B, 1 HR
Mark Trumbo - 6 for his last 20 (.300), 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR

Jerry Hairston, Jr. - 7 for his last 17 (.412)

Who's Cold - Last 7 Games:
Vernon Wells - 5 for his last 23 (.217)

Ian Desmond - 3 for his last 23 (.130)
Wilson Ramos - 2 for his last 19 (.105)
Jayson Werth - 4 for his last 27 (.148)
Ryan Zimmerman - 4 for his last 30 (.133)

Game time is 7:05 (PDT) and will be show in Fox Sports West.  For more Angels' news, be sure to check out Halos Heaven.

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