ANAHEIM -- Off to a scorching start to begin the season, Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo attributes his success to something very simple -- he's playing more.
"I've been getting enough at-bats to stay sharp, and I have been playing regularly to keep my timing where it needs to be," said Trumbo.
Trumbo leads American League rookies in nearly every offensive category including: home runs (6), hits (25), runs (13), total bases (49) and RBIs (17).
The Angels first baseman could also join elite company within the organization, as he could become just the second Angel rookie with 30 home runs. Tim Salmon is the only other one, having done so in 1993.
"He is still making adjustments and learning the league, and I think he is doing a terrific job," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "As the game goes on he makes adjustments and for his first go-round, he has been extremely productive and given us a big boost."
Trumbo has accrued more playing time at first base this season as Kendrys Morales continues to recuperate from left ankle surgery.
Playing in only eight games last season with the Angels, Trumbo went 1-for-15, with a .067 average. This year, the Halos first baseman is batting .255.
"Last year, I was trying too hard when I came up. I didn't know when I was going to play, that I really just wanted to do too much," Trumbo said. "This year at a certain point, I realized I was going to get an opportunity. I was able to start playing my own game and not try and be somebody I'm not."
Still ready to improve on his game this season, even with such numbers, Trumbo is working on having better plate discipline.
"I have been getting better pitches to hit and laying off pitches I would have swung at earlier in the season, and I am taking more walks," said Trumbo.
Consistent Hunter getting his groove back
ANAHEIM -- Torii Hunter will be the first to tell you about his frustrations at the plate in April, yet he'll also be the first to let you know it is a long season.
This mentality, along with not panicking at the plate even as he hit balls hard, gave Hunter the ability to break out of a slump that saw his average dip to .196 on April 25.
"I was having good at-bats and hitting the ball hard at people," Hunter said. "It was frustrating, but I have also been through it a lot. Had I been one of the younger guys, I may have had to go and see a sports psychologist."
Yet, Hunter crawled out of the hole, and in 10 games since April 25, he is hitting .368, with four extra base hits and three RBIs, and has raised his average 50 points to .246. The Angels right fielder is now even riding an eight-game hitting streak.
He even mixed in a walk-off RBI single in the 11th inning of Friday's game against the Indians to give the Halos a 2-1 victory.
"As long as I feel good at the plate and am getting deep into counts and hitting the ball hard, it's OK," Hunter said. "It is frustrating, but I am more mature now. I try to be more patient and wait. I have learned that in April, you can't win a batting title or the division."
Hunter, who is the only Angels player to start every game this season, said that as a consistent hitter, he is resigned to the fact that he'll put up what he puts up.
"If I don't succeed that day, I am upset, but at the same time, I am just happy I have experience and time on my side," Hunter said. "That way I can stay patient and wait."
As my "Old Kentucky Home" blared out of the televisions in the Angels clubhouse before the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby Saturday, players began to bang on couches and scream once the race began, with Angels third baseman Maicer Izturis winning the pool after picking winner Animal Kingdom ... Leading the Rangers by two games in the American League West before the start of Saturday's contest against the Indians, it marked the Angels largest lead since the end of the team's 2009 campaign, when it was up 10 games ... The Angels bullpen has held the Indians scoreless this season, giving up just four hits in 12 innings pitched. The Angels bullpen has not allowed an earned run to the Tribe since September 8, 2010 ... The Angels lead the American League with a .270 average, rank second in the league with a 3.04 ERA and are tied for the league-lead with a .988 fielding percentage.
Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.