Trout's legend grows -- slugger hits slam that lands in Trout Net
There is no shortage of MLB greats to whom Mike Trout has drawn comparison, though Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays are the most common. With his leadoff home run heroics in the All-Star Game recently, Trout conjured up memories of Bo Jackson on more than one highlight show.
But what he did Sunday was a little more Ruthian ... like a page right out of the Bambino’s playbook.
Trout didn’t call his shot a la Babe Ruth on Sunday, but when Trout sent Spencer Patton’s pitch into the right-center stands for a grand slam in the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 13-7 win over Texas, he couldn’t have been more on target.
He hit it right into an Angel fan’s “Trout Net.” You can see the home run and its landing point briefly in the video above. But here are some better looks at it:
The legend continues to grow! @MikeTrout just hit a grand slam into the Trout Net...No seriously, into a net about 2 feet in diameter.— Angels (@Angels) July 26, 2015
For Trout, however, it was just another day at the office — a day which included four hits, two home runs and five runs batted in. The first home run also gave him 30 for the season — the fastest player to 30 home runs in a season in Angels history.
Still ... no big deal to Trout:
"I don't look at that stuff," Trout said after the game, according to The Associated Press. "At the end of the year, if that's where it's at, then that's where it's at. I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help the team win."
On Sunday, he also helped out quite the die-hard Angels fan, it appears. Looks like Trout Net has its own Twitter page.
But the story gets better. Turns out the holder of the Trout Net is a Marine named Jonathan Plaza who served multiple tours in Afghanistan, and FOX Sports West caught up with him after Sunday’s game.
He is apparently a regular in those outfield stands, and says Trout and fellow Angel Kole Calhoun have tried multiple times to get Plaza a ball — but by throwing one into the Trout Net from the outfield.
Here is the interview.
As for the rest of the game, even without Trout’s heroics the Angels were in pretty good shape on this day.
C.J. Cron also went deep and rookie Andrew Heaney kept his unblemished record intact, helping the Angels end a three-game skid and regain sole possession of the AL West lead by a game over the Houston Astros — whom they play in a three-game series beginning Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Heaney (5-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his sixth start for the Angels.
The 24-year-old left-hander has thrown at least six innings and allowed fewer than three runs in all of his outings this season. The only pitcher in club history to do that in each of his first seven starts was Jered Weaver in 2006.
Nick Martinez (5-6) was charged with four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.01 ERA over his last six starts for the Rangers.
The reigning AL MVP drove an 0-2 pitch just above the yellow line atop the 18-foot wall in right field in the first inning, hitting his 30th homer in his 97th game, breaking the previous club mark set 15 years ago by Troy Glaus (100 games).
Trout then capped a five-run sixth with his third career slam on a full-count pitch from Patton, increasing the Angels' lead to 8-2 and getting a curtain call from the crowd of 38,539.
"I thought Patton made some good pitches early in the count. But once he got into the full count, he had to come into the plate and a premiere hitter made him pay," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The Angels got a scare in the fourth inning when Trout came up holding his left wrist in pain after diving for a Texas Leaguer by Elvis Andrus that popped out of his glove for a single after he hit the ground.
"When my glove started to tuck, my first instinct was to try and get my hand out of the glove. I think if my hand would have stayed in the glove, it obviously would have been more severe," said Trout, who had a bag of ice taped to his wrist in the clubhouse.
"It's still a little sore, but it's fine," he added.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report