No Place Like Home to Turn Around Angels' Slow Start

The Angels enter the American League's final home opener with a 2-4 record and high expectations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty
    Josh Hamilton #32 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sits in the dugout after scoring a run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 7, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

    The Angels look to turn around a slow start when the big-budget, big-name roster plays in front of fans at Angels Stadium for the first time this season in a matchup of potential AL West contenders.

    The American League's final home opener of 2013 features the Angels against AL West champion Oakland. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 a.m.

    LA has dropped two of three to 2012 playoff teams in each of its first two series. The disappointing road trip echoes last season's early struggles, which left a talented team scrambling to gain ground throughout the season.

    "We've got high expectations, and we've got to get off to a good start," said outfielder Mike Trout. "The rough start last year hurt us."

    Last year, the Angels stumbled to 6-14 through the first few weeks of the season. The team failed to make the post-season for the third consecutive season.

    The Angels' highest-profile signing, outfielder Josh Hamilton, was 4 for 25 with 10 strikeouts during the opening two series this year, including a visit to Texas to face his former team. Hamilton left the Rangers to join the Angels for $125 million.

    Hamilton broke out of the slump Sunday with three hits.

    But unlike last year, Albert Pujols has already hit his first two homers of this season. The All Star first baseman didn't hit his first homer of his first season with the Angels until May 6 last year -- his first with the club after winning a World Series with St. Louis.

    Left-hander C.J. Wilson will start for the Angels on Tuesday night, facing Oakland's Jarrod Parker. The A's won the West last year with a fraction of the Angels' payroll, and Oakland is out to a 5-2 start this season.

    "I think we've made improvements, (but) we had a really good team last year as well,'' said Mark Trumbo. "The goal is to make the playoffs. Obviously, we didn't get there last year, but we've been over it a million times before. Our start really put us in a deep hole, and we never were able to get out of it."

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