(SportsNetwork.com) - The LA Angels of Anaheim try to win their third straight series when they close out a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves Sunday night at Turner Field.
The Angels dropped the opener of this series, 4-3, then rebounded with Saturday's 11-6 win in 13 innings to even the set. They scored five runs in the top of the 13th inning, as Mike Trout delivered a two-run double and Albert Pujols drove in two with a base hit. Kole Calhoun opened the scoring in the decisive frame with an RBI hit.
Angels relief pitcher Cory Rasmus set the Braves down in order in the bottom of the 13th to preserve the win.
Trout and Pujols both had big games and each ended with three hits, a home run and four RBI. Erick Aybar had four hits, two runs scored and knocked in a run for the Angels, who ended a two-game slide and won for the sixth time in eight tries. Garrett Richards started on the mound for Anaheim and struck out 10 batters across six shutout innings.
After a shaky performance early on from the bullpen, Fernando Salas threw two scoreless innings of relief for the win.
"We never quit, they never quit," said Trout. "You've got to give them props. They scored four runs and put pressure on us. We kept battling, put ourselves in a good position and we won the game."
Trout extended his hitting streak to nine games and 16 straight interleague contests. Angels manager Mike Scioscia was not with the team after attending the funeral of his former Dodger teammate and 1990 Cy Young winner Bob Welch. Bench coach Dino Ebel took his place.
The Angels are 3 1/2 games behind Oakland for the AL West lead and will visit Cleveland next for four games.
Hector Santiago gets the starting nod for the Angels Sunday and he is winless (0-6) in 10 games (8 starts) with a 4.15 ERA. Santiago pitched six shutout innings for a no-decision in a 2-1 win over Oakland on Tuesday and recorded eight strikeouts with one walk.
Santiago, a left-hander, has never faced Atlanta and is 0-3 on the road.
Atlanta has been inconsistent of late with defeats in seven of the last 11 games. David Hale was saddled with the loss for allowing five runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief and starting pitcher Gavin Floyd gave up four runs in the first 6 1/3 innings.
The Braves were able to rally from a 5-0 hole and used a four-run bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game. Jason Heyward drove in a run, B.J. Upton plated two with a triple and Freddie Freeman stroked an RBI ground-rule double to the even the score. Josh Hamilton put the Angels back on top with a run- scoring hit in the 10th and Atlanta knotted the game at 6-6 on another RBI hit from Heyward, who showed no signs of a hand contusion suffered on Friday.
Anaheim then exploded for five runs in the 13th.
"We had our chances to get the win," said Braves catcher Gerald Laird. "It was an excellent effort coming back in the ninth inning. We battled tonight.
Evan Gattis had three hits, including another home run, for the Braves, who are still tied with Washington atop the NL East standings. Gattis has homered in two straight games and has gone deep seven times since May 25. He is riding a career-best 14-game hitting streak.
Atlanta will host Philadelphia next for three games.
Set to take the mound for the Braves in Sunday's rubber match will be Mike Minor, who is 2-4 with a 4.31 earned run average. Minor is winless (0-2) in his past four outings and was hammered at Colorado the last time out on Tuesday to the tune of eight runs and 11 hits in four innings.
The left-handed Minor has never faced the Angels and is 1-4 in five starts at Turner Field.