Mike Trout blasts first career walk-off HR in win vs. Rays
MAY 16, 2014 3:01a ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Trout was out of breath by the time he stopped to talk to FOX Sports West's Jose Mota Thursday night.
Very well aware of what comes next, Trout answered questions, seemingly, in a state of paranoia, keeping his head on a swivel. He knew the drill. Guy gets a walk off hit, guy gets a Gatorade shower or shaving cream pie in the face or a combination of the two. Out of breath and all, that was on his mind.
The crowd was in a frenzy. Trout was out of breath after circling the bases and then being mobbed by teammates. His three-run walk off home run off of Rays reliever Brad Boxberger had just lifted the Angels to their sixth win in seven games.
Trout was too alert. The Gatorade shower never came but he still enjoyed the moment of the first walk off hit of his career.
The Angels entered the bottom of the ninth trailing Tampa Bay 5-2. Hank Conger led off the inning with a walk. The next batter, Efren Navarro, did the same.
Collin Cowgill drove in Conger with an RBI single off of Rays reliever Grant Balfour and Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had seen enough. He pulled Balfour with two on and no outs and his team's lead now 5-3.
Maddon called on Boxberger to face Trout. Three pitches into the at bat, the Angels center fielder sent a 1-1 changeup into left center field to end it capping a four-run ninth inning for the Angels.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Trout, who saw three consecutive changeups in his final at-bat. "I just told myself to be calm and get a pitch to hit. It's like one of them balls you square up and you just don't feel it coming off the bat."
Trout admittedly said he's been "chasing" at the plate. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before the walk off Thursday. Including Thursday's win, he's struck out 12 times in the last seven games. But one swing on Thursday coupled with some success during the club's previous road trip may have gotten him back on track.
"Last couple of games in Philly he started hitting the ball well to right center and I think that's key for him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He still helps us win when, maybe, he's not squaring balls up like he can and tonight he did in a big way."