It was fitting that on the same day as the 2020 Kentucky Derby, Louisville native and Angels rookie right fielder Jo Adell completed a rare trifecta on Saturday. He led off Game 1 of a seven-inning doubleheader against the Astros with a home-run robbing catch in right. Then, he smacked
It was fitting that on the same day as the 2020 Kentucky Derby, Louisville native and Angels rookie right fielder Jo Adell completed a rare trifecta on Saturday. He led off Game 1 of a seven-inning doubleheader against the Astros with a home-run robbing catch in right. Then, he smacked a game-tying homer in the fourth. And he wrapped it up with a walk-off two-run single in the seventh to lift the Halos to a 10-9 win at Angel Stadium.
It was the best all-around performance of Adell’s young career through 24 games, and he believes it’ll give him confidence going forward.
“It definitely elevates it, for sure,” Adell said. “A big game like that, you want to take that in and run with it and try to bring that version of yourself out as much as you can."
Adell, 21, has started to look more comfortable in the field after some early struggles, and he made an impressive leaping catch to rob the Astros’ George Springer of a potential homer on the third pitch of the game.
The Halos' No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Adell helped right-hander Griffin Canning, who left an 0-2 fastball over the middle of the plate that Springer smacked the other way. But Adell got a good read on it and hit the wall as he jumped to make the catch, knocking his hat off his head.
“That was awesome,” Canning said. “I think we're all seeing it, he's getting a lot better out there, a lot more confidence, and then it obviously kind of carried into the offensive side of the game for him. So it was awesome to see."
Adell's game-tying homer in the fourth was a leadoff blast to right field. It was his third career home run, and it came on a 1-1 cutter from right-hander Brandon Bielak.
“He's settling into becoming more of a player with a better feel and better at-bats," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "He's been making adjustments. It's a nice first step for him."
The Angels couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the seventh, as the Astros scored three runs against Felix Peña to go ahead, 9-7. But Adell helped them complete a comeback in the bottom of the inning.
Justin Upton, who also homered earlier in the game, crushed a game-tying RBI double to put two runners in scoring position for Adell. Then, Adell went the other way again, hitting a two-run single into the right-field corner off reliever Enoli Paredes for his first career walk-off hit.
"It's pretty exciting,” Adell said. “I just told myself that I was gonna have to get him over the plate and try to attack something the other way, and I executed it. So it's pretty exciting to have a plan against a good reliever and produce."
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.