Mike Trout even surprised himself in adding to his growing list of impressive big league achievements.
Trout hit for the cycle and drove in five runs, Josh Hamilton celebrated his 32nd birthday with a homer and a triple his first two times up, and Howie Kendrick also went deep in the Los Angeles Angels’ 12-0 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Trout, last season’s AL rookie of the year and MVP runner-up, became the youngest AL player to hit for the cycle and third youngest in the major leagues since 1930. He’s also the sixth player in Angels history to complete the cycle and the first to do it since Chone Figgins on Sept. 16, 2006, at Texas.
”It was one of those nights,” Trout said. ”I didn’t really think about it until about the eighth inning. And when I got on deck, I started feeling it a little bit. To be honest, I thought Josh was going to hit for the cycle after his those first two at-bats. I wasn’t thinking about myself.”
After taking a called third strike his first time up, Trout reached on an infield single in the third inning, hit an RBI triple in the fourth and added a three-run double in the sixth before homering in the eighth on a 2-0 pitch from Lucas Luetge.
”At 2-0, I think I was swinging at anything,” Trout said. ”It was in the back of my mind, trying to hit a home run. I just barreled it up and it went out. It feels great.”
Jerome Williams (3-1) scattered six hits over eight innings, struck out six and walked two while helping send the Mariners to their season-high fifth straight loss. The right-hander got one more run of support as he did in his three-previous starts this season combined.
Aaron Harang (1-5) lasted only 3 1-2 innings in his first outing since May 7, giving up seven runs and nine hits – seven of them for extra bases. The 35-year-old right-hander, who missed his previous turn in the rotation because of stiffness in his lower back, has yet to go more than six innings in any of his six starts with the Mariners.
”About the only good thing that came out of tonight was the fact that the back wasn’t an issue,” Harang said.
The Angels grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first. Erick Aybar led off with a double, Albert Pujols singled him home, and Hamilton drove a 3-2 pitch to left-center for his sixth homer. In the three previous games Hamilton played on his birthday in the major leagues, he did not have an RBI in 12 at-bats.
Los Angeles extended the margin to 7-0 in the fourth, scoring four runs on five extra-base hits. Hamilton legged out his second triple of the season leading off and Kendrick drove the next pitch to right-center for his seventh home run, one fewer than he had last year. Alberto Callaspo followed with a double, Aybar drove him in with a two-out double, and Trout chased Harang with his triple to right-center.
”We saw him do a lot of these things last year as a leadoff guy, and now he’s hitting in the two spot,” Kendrick said. ”He’s a great player and he has the ability do some of the things he’s done – especially being a five-tool player like he is.”
Luetge followed Danny Farquhar out of the Seattle bullpen during the Angels’ four-run sixth, giving up Trout’s three-run double on his first pitch. Pujols got an RBI single two pitcher later to give the Angels an 11-0 cushion.
The Mariners threatened in the third before Kyle Seager grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at first and second. At the time, Seager had the most at-bats by any AL player who hadn’t grounded into one (168).
The game marked the return to Angel Stadium of Mariners first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales, following the December trade that sent the switch-hitter to Seattle for starting pitcher Jason Vargas. He was one for 4 with a ground-rule double and two strikeouts.
NOTES:Aybar left for a pinch-hitter in the sixth due to soreness in his right knee. … Angels LHP Sean Burnett was reinstated from the disabled list, bolstering an injury-ravaged bullpen that is still waiting for Ryan Madson and Kevin Jepsen to come off the DL while rookies Robert Coello and Dane De La Rosa fill the void. RHP Ryan Brasier, another rookie reliever, was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to clear a roster spot for Burnett — who missed 22 games because of irritation in his forearm. … Mariners SS Brendan Ryan, 0 for 14 lifetime against Williams, got the night off. … Harang’s next start will be his 300th in the majors. … Angels ace Jered Weaver, sidelined since April 8 because of a broken bone in his non-pitching arm, is scheduled to throw in an extended spring training game at the team’s Arizona complex on Wednesday and may not need a minor league rehab assignment. ”There’s only so much you can get done in minor league rehab starts,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”We definitely want to control this and get him into a five-inning look with 75 to 80 pitches, and we can accomplish that down there. I think that where he lines up after that is going to be contingent on how he feels coming out of it.”