Angels 13, Mariners 6
Mike Trout failed to make much of an impression when he was first promoted to the Los Angeles Angels in July.
Now it's hard not to notice him.
Trout, considered by many scouts to be the best prospect in baseball, homered twice and drove in five runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 13-6 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
The Angels are still 3 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West as the Rangers also won.
The youngest player in the majors at 20 years, 23 days, Trout started the onslaught in the second with a solo shot into the left-field bullpen on a 3-2 pitch from Anthony Vasquez (1-1).
Vasquez, making his second big-league start, walked the first two batters in the fourth before Trout added a three-run blast into the left-field seats for a 4-0 lead.
''I don't have that anxiousness to hit the ball,'' Trout said. ''The first time I got up here I wanted to hit it hard every time to impress everyone. Now I'm just trying to be myself and not trying to do too much.''
He made his big-league debut July 8 but in 14 games he hit just .163 with one home run and 6 RBI. He was sent back to Double-A Arkansas July 29 before being recalled Aug. 19.
Since his recall, he's gone 9 for 21 with four home runs. He has three home runs in the past two games and now five in his 65-at-bat career.
''Since the first (callup) it's like two different things,'' he said. ''The first couple weeks I was jittery. Now I actually feel calm in the box, looking for my pitch.''
Manager Mike Scioscia said that Trout, the team's first-round draft choice in 2009, is just continuing where he left off in the minors where he hit .333 with 10 extra-base hits in 16 games.
''He wasn't overmatched his first go-around. Maybe didn't get as many hits to fall in but he wasn't overmatched,'' Scioscia said. ''No doubt when you come up here, no matter how talented you are, when you start to have success and start to achieve, that's the litmus test, that's the proving ground and you carry that momentum forward. And it becomes confidence.
''He's doing some things that should give any player confidence.''
He is the youngest Angels player to hit two home runs in a game.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge that Trout ''is a very talented young man and has some strength in that swing.''
The Angels have hit at least one homer in 20 of the past 21 games. They also have 75 road home runs compared to 48 at home.
Seattle scored two in the fourth to cut the lead in half but it blew up for Vasquez and the Mariners in the Angels' eight-run fifth inning. The first eight hitters all scored.
It was the Angels' biggest inning this season and the most runs in an inning since scoring nine on Aug. 16, 2009 in the 13th at Baltimore.
Vasquez, the son of an Angels area scout, gave up the first two runs - he was charged with eight overall - and left with runners on first and third and one out.
Jeff Gray entered and walked three straight batters, forcing in two runs. Erick Aybar had the inning's biggest hit, a two-run double.
This was the sixth time this season the Angels have scored 10 or more runs. It was their second-highest scoring game, two short of a season-high 15 on April 19 at Texas.
All those runs gave comfort to Jerome Williams (2-0), who, like Vasquez, was making his second career start. He disposed of nine straight Mariners on just 23 pitches over his first three innings.
''I don't believe he's 20,'' Williams said of Trout. ''He got me two tonight. He helped me a lot.''
The Mariners reached Williams in the fourth. Mike Carp hit a RBI double into the left-field corner and Miguel Olivo beat out a RBI infield single to deep short.
The Mariners added another pair in the seventh on a two-out, bases-loaded single by Ichiro Suzuki. That extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
Williams went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.
Olivo, who had three hits, picked up his second infield-hit RBI in the Mariners' two-run eighth off Bobby Cassevah.
Notes: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said when rosters expand Thursday ''we'll definitely add a pitcher and a couple position players.'' Eventually, the club plans to add eight or nine players besides four or five callups. ... The Mariners also should have three veterans back from the DL early next month: 1B Justin Smoak (broken nose), 3B Chone Figgins (right hip flexor) and SS/2B Jack Wilson (heel). ''I'm anxious to see (Smoak) play,'' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ''He needs to play up here.'' ... The Mariners will send Felix Hernandez (12-11, 3.37 ERA) to the mound Wednesday. He was be opposed by Dan Haren (13-7, 3.19). Hernandez went 13-12 last season when he won the AL Cy Young Award. He is 4-9 in 23 career starts against the Angels. Haren is 9-4 in 17 career starts against Seattle.