Mike Trout does not seem to be feeling the pressure of his US$426.5 million, 12-year contract when playing at home.
The Los Angeles Angels outfielder, who received his Silver Slugger award before Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers, hit two home runs in a 3-1 victory that snapped a five-game losing streak.
It was the 15th multi-home run game for Trout, who signed the largest contract in North American sports history before the end of spring training.
It also marks the first time in his career he has homered in the Angels’ first two home games.
The two-homer game was not the only thing Angels fans got from Trout. The team also gave away Trout bobbleheads commemorating his six Silver Slugger awards.
“It means a lot,” Trout said about having the big night. “Obviously, we have been struggling lately. These types of games can help us get some momentum going.”
Trout hit a Lance Lynn (0-1) fastball to center field in the sixth inning to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. He added a solo shot to center in the eighth off Jesse Chavez.
On both occasions, Trout was ahead in the count.
“I made some adjustments from the first two at-bats and it worked out,” Trout said. “I got in a good position to hit and I didn’t miss them.”
Five Angels pitchers combined for a season-high 12 strikeouts.
Felix Pena started and allowed one run and four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in 4-2/3 innings.
Justin Anderson (1-0) got the win with 1-1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Cody Allen picked up his second save.
“I thought everyone pitched well,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Felix did well and the bullpen did its job. We had clean innings for the most part.”
Lynn (0-1) went seven innings and allowed two runs and five hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
“I threw the ball right down the middle,” Lynn said of Trout’s homer.
“He did what he is supposed to do. He’s got US$430 million where he is going to sit on that pitch and hit it out of the ballpark. It was a terrible pitch,” Lynn added.
Texas scored in the fourth, when Joey Gallo homered to tie it at 1-1. The Rangers left fielder put Pena’s slider over the wall in right for his third homer of the season.
Elvis Andrus had two hits and has hit safely in seven of the first eight games.
“We had some pretty good at-bats late and just got a little unlucky,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
The Angels scored first for only the second time this season. Brian Goodwin doubled to center with one out in the third, advanced to third on David Fletcher’s infield single and scored when Kole Calhoun singled to right.
In other games on Friday, the Chicago White Sox outlasted the Seattle Mariners 10-8, the Los Angeles Dodgers overpowered the Colorado Rockies 10-6, the San Diego Padres defeated the St Louis Cardinals 5-3 and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2.
The Pittsburgh Pirates shut out the Cincinnati Reds 2-0, the Philadelphia Phillies crushed the Minnesota Twins 10-4, the Arizona Diamondbacks annihilated the Boston Red Sox 15-8 and the Cleveland Indians edged the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2.
The Atlanta Braves crushed the Miami Marlins 4-0, the Milwaukee Brewers outgunned the Chicago Cubs 13-10 and the Houston Astros edged the Oakland Athletics 3-2.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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