The Associated PressLOS ANGELES (AP) — Kole Calhoun believes the death of Tyler Skaggs presented the Los Angeles Angels with a stark public challenge to go along with their private grief.
Skaggs’ hurting teammates had to decide whether they would get worn down by the daily grind, or whether they would channel an element of their raw emotions into their play.
After their 12th win in 18 games since Skaggs’ death, the Angels’ choice is clear — and not even their powerhouse local rivals could top them.
Calhoun homered and had two doubles to drive in two runs in his second straight big game at Dodger Stadium, and the Angels swept the Freeway Series for the first time in club history with a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
The Angels (54-49) moved five games above .500 for the first time all season with their fourth straight victory. They’re making a midseason push toward the playoff race, and Calhoun sees Skaggs’ imprint on this surge.
“It’s something that definitely shook us big-time,” Calhoun said. “You could go one of two directions, and I think everybody chose to really pull together and be there for one another, and that’s shown on the field. We’re playing good ball right now, and we’re pulling for each other. That’s what we decided to do as a ballclub.”
Mike Trout drove in a run and scored one in the fourth straight win for the Angels, who also took two from the Dodgers in Anaheim last month, en route to their first Freeway Series sweep since interleague play began in 1997.Speech