Morales hits two homers to carry Angels past A's

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Everyone knew Kendry Morales could hit. He just needed a chance to play.

Morales went 5 for 5 with two homers and six RBIs, and the Los Angeles Angels used a seven-run surge in the seventh inning to rally past the Oakland Athletics 11-7 on Friday night.

"His potential was there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think the fact that it's happening now is just the culmination of an opportunity that has come to a kid that is very talented. And he wants it. This kid wants to be consistent, he wants to do it year in and year out. He worked very hard to get to this point, and he's grown in leaps and bounds the last couple of years."

The Angels, who increased their AL West lead to five games over Texas, also had a big night off the field. Looking to bolster an inconsistent rotation, they acquired two-time All-Star Scott Kazmir from Tampa Bay for two minor leaguers and a player to be named.

Kazmir will make his Angels debut Tuesday or Wednesday at Seattle, Scioscia said.

"I'm excited," Los Angeles center fielder Torii Hunter said. "We kind of got wind of it like the fourth or fifth inning, and I think that gave us a lift. I definitely think Kazmir's going to help the rotation out a whole lot. I'm glad I don't have to face him now. He's on my team."

Morales has provided a lift for the offense.

The first baseman leads the AL with 42 RBIs since the All-Star break and has a team-high 91 in his first full big league campaign.

"I told myself that if I could drive in about 85 runs and hit about 25 home runs, I should be able to help the team win a lot of games," Morales said through a translator. "Thankfully, I've gone beyond that. It's time to keep going and not look back. And I'm not done yet."

Morales has finally gotten his chance. He had to wait patiently in the minors the last few years while the club was playing Casey Kotchman at first base and then Mark Teixeira, after getting the All-Star slugger in a trade with Atlanta for the final two months of last season.

"The guys who were playing ahead of me were veteran players and they deserved the opportunity before me because I wasn't mature enough or seasoned enough to play in the big leagues," Morales said. "I'm glad I waited for the opportunity, but the one thing I really thought about was not how long I had to wait, but to concentrate on playing well whenever I got the opportunity."

Morales, who tied a career high for RBIs, put Los Angeles ahead with a three-run shot in the seventh. He also opened the scoring in the second with a solo homer against Brett Tomko.

Morales doubled in each of his next two at-bats and added his 29th home run against Brad Ziegler (1-4) to break Chili Davis' 1996 club record for the most homers in a season by a switch-hitter. For good measure, Morales added an RBI single in the eighth against Santiago Casilla.

The four extra-base hits by Morales also matched a club mark. His sixth-inning double off Craig Breslow drove in a run, hitting the top of the 18-foot wall in right-center and bouncing back onto the field. Umpires had to look at a replay to uphold the decision by first base ump Greg Gibson, after Scioscia contended it was a homer.

Jose Arredondo (2-3) pitched two innings of one-hit relief for the victory after inheriting a 6-1 deficit. It was the ninth time this season that the Angels won after trailing by four or more runs. In Thursday's series opener, they were held to three hits in a 2-0 loss to Trevor Cahill.

"I'm pretty sure everybody knows that we don't give up. We stay in there and we battle," Hunter said. "When teams score five runs in one inning against us, we know we've got a chance to do it, too. You've just got to have a little luck in there somewhere, and we did."

All seven runs in the seventh were unearned, the result of first baseman Daric Barton's fielding error on a broken-bat grounder by Bobby Abreu.

Brian Fuentes got two outs for his major league-leading 37th save in 42 attempts after Kevin Jepsen gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki.

Angels rookie Trevor Bell lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his fourth big league start, giving up five runs and seven hits, including Scott Hairston's sixth homer during Oakland's five-run third. The right-hander has a 10.80 ERA since Scioscia inserted him into the rotation Aug. 12.

Bell isn't expected to make another start any time soon, now that the Angels landed Kazmir.

Game notes
Jon Wilhite, the only survivor in the car that Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart was riding in when he and two other friends died in the early morning hours of April 9, will attend Saturday night's game along with members of his family to take part in a first-pitch ceremony. Wilhite threw a ceremonial first pitch at the Angels-A's game on July 18 at Oakland.