Strong pitching is another.After the Angels placed their scheduled starter on the disabled list, Trout may need to continue his hot hitting Tuesday night if his team is to win a fifth straight game and keep cutting into the Oakland Athletics' AL West lead.Trout has a .389 average with 17 RBIs in his last 15 games and nearly had his fifth home run in that span in Monday's series-opening 4-1 win over the A's.Two nights after hitting a grand slam, the star center fielder had two RBIs and one of them came on a fifth-inning double that was initially ruled a homer before being overturned via replay for fan interference.Manager Mike Scioscia was ejected for arguing the ruling."I don't know how they overturned the home run. That ball was over the yellow line when it hit that guy's glove. There's no doubt," Scioscia said. "I don't know what they saw in New York -- and that's part of the frustration that I have with this whole system. There's no way that's indisputable evidence that that was not a home run."Still, Trout is 8 for 19 (.421) with three doubles, two homers and seven RBIs over his last four meetings with the A's.Pitching has also helped spur the Angels (35-28) on their four-game winning streak. The staff has a 2.50 ERA during that span with 40 strikeouts and nine walks, and starters C.J. Wilson and Garrett Richards combined to yield two runs in 14 1/3 innings in the last two games.Los Angeles hopes that can provide some inspiration for Hector Santiago (0-6, 4.82 ERA), who is making a spot start after Tyler Skaggs went on the DL with a hamstring injury Tuesday.Santiago was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake after losing his spot in the rotation last month. The left-hander compiled a 7.82 ERA while losing his last three starts for the Angels, and he went 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three minor league outings since.Still, Scioscia feels there's improvement."He's making progress with his command," Scioscia told the team's official website. "He feels much better about what he needs to do on the mound, so hopefully he'll bring it into the game."Santiago is 1-0 while allowing three runs -- two earned -- in 13 1/3 innings over two starts versus Oakland. That includes yielding one run in seven innings while not getting a decision in a 3-2 home defeat April 14.The A's, who lead the West by 3 1/2 games on the second-place Angels, have followed a five-game winning streak by dropping three of five while batting .222. Oakland (39-25) was held to four hits Monday and tied a season high with three errors -- all by third baseman Josh Donaldson."It was one of those days," said Donaldson, in an 0-for-13 slump. "We'll try and leave it behind us and turn the page for tomorrow."Yoenis Cespedes is doing his part, going 11 for 30 with two doubles and two homers during a seven-game hitting streak. The left fielder had two hits Monday but is batting .219 in seven season meetings with Los Angeles.The A's are turning to Drew Pomeranz (5-3, 2.20), who could've used some help in Thursday's 2-1 road defeat to the New York Yankees. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- with seven strikeouts in seven innings.The left-hander got plenty of help six days earlier when he beat the Angels, surrendering five runs and two homers in 5 1/3 innings of a 9-5 victory.
Chris Iannetta has five home runs this season against fastballs from lefties, tied for the most in the league. Among lefties with at least five starts this season, Drew Pomeranz throws his fastball the most often (76 percent).
Tyler Skaggs is throwing his fastball 66 percent of the time this season, most among qualified left-handed pitchers. Josh Donaldson's five home runs this season against fastballs from lefties are tied for the most in the league. Derek Norris is tied for fifth with four such home runs, and he's hitting .364 (16 for 44) in at-bats ending with a fastball from a lefty.