Trout HR helps Angels beat Orioles 7-1, ending 6-game skid
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mike Trout has no interest in merely taking his cuts at the plate, walking back to the dugout and waiting patiently for his next at-bat.
The two-time AL MVP wants to be part of the action in the field, too, and his zest for being a two-way player is evident by his numbers when doing so.
Trout celebrated his return to center field Friday night with a solo home run and an impressive catch, and the Los Angeles Angels snapped a six-game skid by beating the floundering Baltimore Orioles 7-1.
Back in the outfield after an ineffective nine-game stretch as a designated hitter, Trout hit his 24th home run in the first inning off David Hess (2-5) to spark the Angels to their first win in a week. Trout reached base three times and ran down a liner in the gap to rob Danny Valencia of a potential fourth-inning double.
“I like being out there,” Trout said. “It keeps me in the game.”
Forced to play DH because of a sprained right index finger, Trout went 6 for 28 (.214) with 11 strikeouts and no homers.
“He certainly is not acclimated to the DH role, and you wouldn’t expect an everyday player to be,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It grounds on you.”
Martin Maldonado also homered for Los Angeles, Andrelton Simmons had four hits and Felix Pena (1-0) allowed five hits over 5 1/3 shutout innings.
Like the Mariners before them, the Angels found facing the Orioles to be the cure for an extended slump. Earlier this week, Seattle notched a four-game sweep at Camden Yards after coming to town with six losses in seven games.
The Angels were reeling from a three-game sweep in Boston, where they were outscored 22-9, before breezing past the awful Orioles in the opener of a three-game series.
“Mike got us on the board, then we kept pecking away,” Scioscia said. “It starts with pitching. You keep putting up those zeros and let your offense get going.”
Los Angeles led 3-0 before pulling away with a three-run sixth. Simmons started the uprising with a double and Kole Calhoun contributed a sacrifice fly.
Baltimore owns the worst record in the majors (23-58), and is playing at a pace to lose 116 games. The Orioles have dropped 16 of 17 at home and are 0-14 against the AL West.
“It’s the story again, we scored one run and nothing through eight innings,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You’re not going to win that way.”
Hess, a rookie right-hander, has put his spot in the rotation in jeopardy by compiling a 10.70 ERA over his last four starts.
He’s really got to command the fastball,” Showalter said. “If it doesn’t work out there, there’s potential for another role. But we’re looking for starters and he’s showed he can do it.”
TRIBUTE TO VICTIMS
The Orioles placed five lilies at the press box seat reserved for The Capital Gazette. Five employees of the newspaper were shot and killed Thursday, including long-time sports writer John McNamara, who was shifted to the news side a few years ago but was still an occasional visitor to the press box. The team also held a moment of silence before the game in honor of all five victims.
Trout’s home run gave him 1,132 hits for his career, one more than Scioscia compiled in his 1,441 games.
Angels: SS Zack Cozart underwent surgery on Friday in Los Angeles to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Cozart decided on surgery after experiencing continued discomfort and following a second opinion. ... Reliever Jake Jewell will have surgery Saturday to repair a fractured right leg, an injury he sustained covering home plate Wednesday against the Red Sox.
Orioles: Reliever Darren O’Day (left hamstring strain) was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. He is considering surgery, which would probably end his season.
The Orioles selected the contracts of relievers Paul Fry and Paul Meisinger from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned pitchers Jimmy Yacabonis and Yefry Ramirez to the same club. In addition, INF Corban Joseph was designated for assignment. Fry and Meisinger both made their major league debuts in this game.
Angels: Tyler Skaggs (6-5, 2.69 ERA), the starter Saturday, has gone seven innings and notched eight strikeouts in each of his last three outings.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.70) makes his sixth attempt at recording his third win. He has one victory since April 5.
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