HOUSTON — Mike Trout has accomplished a lot in his 12-year career. He’s a 10-time All-Star who won American League Rookie of the Year in 2012, was crowned American League MVP three times and has eight Silver Slugger Awards to his name.
Now he can add one home run in five straight games to that list.
Trout hit a two-point blast in the Angels’ 4-3 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday night, after four straight home games with solo shots.
Entering Friday as an active Major League career leader in OBP (.415) and slugging (.585), Trout has numerous Angels franchise records to his name, including being the all-time leader of the club with 343.
He now holds a share of another franchise record: most consecutive games with a homer. As he donned the Angels’ home run cowboy hat for the fifth straight day, he also celebrated tying a mark set by Bobby Bonds from Aug. 2-7, 1977.
“[Trout] works hard and worked really hard in the cage,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He just takes good passes and really good shots against good pitchers.”
Trout continues to report that his body feels healthy again, after being away from July 13 to August 13. 18 due to an upper back/rib cage injury. His production reflects that, with hits in 14 of his last 18 games.
But what has stood out recently is the power. By homering in four consecutive games from September 4-7, he tied a personal best streak, completed twice previously on May 12-15, 2017 and April 4-7, 2019.
Adding a fifth was going to be a challenge for the New Jersey native, who struggled against the Astros at Minute Maid Park, where he had a career batting average of .206 on Friday. On top of that, he faced Lance McCullers Jr., who got him in trouble in the past; Trout had gone 5-for-26 with 10 strikeouts in his career against the right-hander.
“I can’t tell you what it is here because I just can’t see the ball well here,” Trout said. “I was just going to try to be on time at home plate.”
The timing wasn’t there early, as Trout flew out in the first and third innings. But he calmly approached home plate for his third at bat in the sixth inning and didn’t miss his chance. With one out and Max Stassi on first base, Trout smashed a 91.5 mph lead on a Statcast thrown field 429 feet from left center.
“It didn’t surprise me,” said Friday starter Michael Lorenzen, who threw 5 2/3 innings of a fly ball when he returned from the injured list. “That ball came out in the blink of an eye and it was awesome.”
The long ball, No. 33 of the season for Trout, tied Shohei Ohtani for the Angels’ lead.
“That’s pretty cool,” Trout said. “I think anytime you can tie or break a franchise record for doing something, that’s cool.”
Despite his recent successes at the plate, Trout feels there are still some adjustments to be made to get his swing under control.
“I’m still working on the timing,” Trout said. “Some shots I feel I’m on time and some I’m late. When I’m on time I can see the ball very well.
“I just have to start early, it’s simple. When you’re in the moment, you feel like you’re on time, but you’re not. I just need to start a little earlier.