BALTIMORE (AP) — Concerned about his swing and eager to do something about it, Mike Trout put in some extra time in the batting cage in an effort to get back in a groove.
The results were on full display against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Trout homered and drove in three runs, scored twice and drew his major league leading 36th walk to help the Los Angeles Angels roll to an 8-3 victory.
After hitting only one home run since April 9, Trout worked with the team’s hitting coaches while the Angels were in Detroit.
“He was in the cage for about 45 minutes or an hour,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “They kind of ironed some stuff out. He definitely felt a difference.”
Before the game, Trout met up with 7-year-old Baltimore native Gavin Edelson, who met with Trout at Camden Yards last year while carrying a sign that read “Mike Trout is my idol.”
Edelson was at Friday’s game, meeting his favorite player before the game and receiving one of his bats. Edelson had a request for Trout: Hit a home run.
Maybe it was that extra batting practice, or perhaps Trout just wanted to do something for the kid. Either way, his eighth homer of the season snapped a 1-1 tie and propelled the Angels to victory.
“I was trying to put the ball in play, hit the ball hard,” Trout said. “It’s Baltimore, the ball goes a little bit better than many other places.”
Trout still isn’t entirely happy with his swing, but he’s not complaining, either.
“I’m trying to fix it. It’s coming,” he said. “Obviously, a double tonight and the home run, just got to keep that same feeling in consecutive at-bats. Some pitches, I don’t feel it.”
Andrelton Simmons had four hits, two RBIs and scored twice for the Angels, who held an 8-2 lead when the game was stopped by a driving rainstorm just prior to the start of the seventh inning. After a delay of 1 hour, 49 minutes, only a couple hundred fans remained from the original crowd of 14,495.
“It felt like the Florida State League a little bit,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s so weird when you can hear everything. You can hear the other side and you can hear the fans yelling in the outfield.”
The Angels returned to complete their second straight lopsided victory, an encore to their 13-0 win at Detroit on Thursday.
Trevor Cahill (2-3) pitched six innings, allowing two runs and four hits to win for the first time in five starts since April 8.
Trey Mancini and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, whose 5-14 home record is the worst in the big leagues.
Mancini staked Baltimore to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his seventh home run , the major-league leading 13th allowed by Cahill this season. Two nights earlier, Mancini hit a drive to center that didn’t quite travel as far and was snagged by Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr., who reached over the wall to prevent the Orioles from winning in the 11th inning.
“He was yelling that when he came into the dugout, ‘Catch that one!’ Hyde said.
Los Angeles pulled even against Dan Straily (1-3) in the second on an RBI triple by Kole Calhoun. Trout’s eighth home run, on a 3-2 pitch, made it 3-1 in the third.
It was 3-2 before the Angels batted around in a five-run fifth. After Trout doubled in a run and Simmons hit a two-run single , Brian Goodwin drove in a run with a double and scored on a single by Calhoun.
0 FOR OHTANI
In his fourth game since returning from elbow surgery, Angels DH Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 5 and struck out twice.
The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year is off to a slow start at the plate. He’s 2 for 16 (.125) with seven strikeouts.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney, sidelined since early March due to elbow inflammation, was scheduled to throw on Friday against hitters in an extended spring training game in Arizona. … RHP J.C. Ramirez (elbow) had no issues following a two-inning stint in a simulated game on Thursday. … OF Michael Hermosillo (sports hernia) has resumed baseball activities but mostly swinging in the batting cage.
Orioles: LHP Richard Bleier (left shoulder tendinitis) pitched a scoreless inning for Double-A Bowie. The 32-year-old got the win with Class A Frederick on Tuesday night, his first minor league appearance since May 2017.
Angels: Matt Harvey (1-3, 6.94 ERA) starts against Baltimore for the first time in his career Saturday afternoon. He’s allowed at least five runs in four of seven starts this year.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (1-4, 5.30) tries to build on his last outing, when he pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings Saturday against Tampa Bay.
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