It was the eighth time this season that Trout and Ohtani have delved into the same game, and the 22nd since the two became teammates in 2018.
“It never gets old,” starter Patrick Sandoval, who pitched five one-run innings, said of seeing his All-Star teammates run out of the park. “We love home runs here … for our team.”
Wednesday was originally supposed to be a day off for Trout, but the three-time AL MVP said his body felt good enough to play. His bat backed it up, as he went 2-for-4 with a home run, a single and a walk.
“He likes to play at home. We have a bad day tomorrow,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “But you’ll probably see one of these games, I mean I know I said that the other day too, but you’ll probably see one [day off] in this [upcoming six-game road] trip you are going to get.
The effort continued a recent hot streak for Trout, who continues to show he feels healthy after not playing from July 13 to Aug. 1. 18 due to an upper back/rib cage injury. In 18 games since his return, he has hit .309 with eight home runs.
Trout’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth — No. 32 of the season for him, on a fastball in the bottom of the zone — made it four straight games with a homer to center fielder, tying the career best stroke. He previously homered in four straight games from May 12-15, 2017 and April 4-7, 2019.
When asked what’s behind those streaks, Trout shrugged, saying, “It just happens.”
Trout’s home run briefly tied Ohtani for the team lead. That lasted only three innings, until Ohtani came to bat with the game tied in the bottom of the seventh. After working up a favorable count by taking two low plummets, the two-way star connected with a third to the inside of the plate, sending his 33rd home run of the year a Statcast-projected 401 feet to center field.
“Many people, especially in recent days, say that we are pushing each other because of the [team] home run advantage,” Trout said. “I think that’s great. I’m not trying to go up and hit a home run, and neither is he. It’s just having good at-bats and swinging balls well.”
All four of the Angels’ runs came via the long ball, with catcher Matt Thaiss first putting them on the board via a two-run blast in the fourth inning. It was his first home run of the season and his first in the majors since Sept. 9, 2020.
Thaiss, who began his second stint with the Angels this year on Aug. 25, has found it a bit difficult to get playing time on a team that also features Max Stassi and Kurt Suzuki (plus Chad Wallach, with Suzuki dueling). ready). But Nevin suggested that the caliber of Thaiss’ game on limited occasions may give him more chances.
“He’s impressing me behind the plate,” Nevin said. “His calling game, ball-blocking, really working well with our pitchers, studying everything. But he’s really swinging the bat right. The home run was obviously huge for us at the time. Another base hit after that. His timing is good, his barrel goes to the ball a lot and I like what I see.”
Unfortunately for the Angels, the ball was also traveling for the Tigers. Catcher Eric Haase hit a leadoff solo homer in the top of the fourth, while rookies Kerry Carpenter and Ryan Kreidler hit game-tying shots to give José Quijada the go-ahead in the top of the ninth. ending the hopes of the Angels. for a serial sweep.
With a temperature of 99 degrees at first pitch for a midweek day game, Nevin pointed to the crowd’s lack of energy to feed as something that could have affected Quijada.
“We’re looking at 91-92 mph and when Q is at his best, he’s way above that,” Nevin said. “Great run in the zone, and those balls were further down the zone than we’d like. … He’s certainly an emotional guy, he feeds off of that, and you have to find a way to suppress that. It doesn’t matter if there’s no one here or a packed crowd. To go in and close out a one-run game, we need everything he can give.”