SEATTLE -- Call it the Mike Trout series.
Trout continued his dominance over the Mariners by hitting five homers in five games against Seattle, including a go-ahead two-run shot to lead the Angels to a 4-0 win on Sunday at T-Mobile Park. He became the first player in AL/NL history to hit four game-winning home runs in a single series, according to Stats by STATS. It helped the Angels take four of the five games, including winning three in a row for the first time since May 21-24.
It gave interim manager Phil Nevin his first series victory as a manager. Nevin credited Trout for setting the tone with his four go-ahead blasts.
"Having him in that room, you talk about carrying a team or whatever, but it's just uplifting for them to see their guy [come through] and know we can lean on him,” Nevin said. “It's not always going to be him. But this weekend, it certainly was."
The homer put Trout into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for the most career homers against the Mariners with 52. Trout has also hit 33 homers at T-Mobile Park, which is by far the most by an opposing player and 16th all time at the stadium. It’s tied for the most home runs by an active player at the ballpark of a team he didn’t play for, joining Albert Pujols, who has hit 33 blasts at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
It was just the fifth time in franchise history that an Angels player went deep five times in a series, as Doug DeCinces did it from Aug. 2-5, 1982, Garret Anderson accomplished the feat from June 3-5, 2003, Vladimir Guerrero did it Sept 27-30, 2004, and Trout previously did it from April 4-7, 2019. Anderson was the only player to do it in three games, while the others needed four until Trout did it in a rare five-game set.
Trout, a three-time American League MVP and nine-time All-Star, homered twice on Thursday and homered in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday. He added to his tally with his two-run shot off Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert in the fourth inning on Sunday. Gilbert threw him nine straight fastballs in the at-bat; after fouling off a 3-2 pitch, Trout smacked a 96 mph heater over the right-center-field fence for his team-leading 21st blast of the year.
"I was getting pitches to hit before that but just missing them,” Trout said. “But then I got a barrel on one. They've been throwing me a lot of fastballs all series. That's my approach. Look for the fastball and adjust to the offspeed."
Trout, 30, is putting up MVP-caliber numbers yet again, batting .290/.389/.659 with 15 doubles and 43 RBIs in 61 games. And that’s come despite a career-worst 0-for-26 slump that lasted from May 29 to June 5. But Trout has bounced back, as he's batting .368 with eight homers and 15 RBIs over his last 11 games, dating back to June 6.
"Whatever you want to throw, when he's locked in like that, over four or five at-bats, he's going to get into one,” Nevin said. “But what he did this weekend was impressive. Not to mention playing every inning of every game and making some great plays in center field. And obviously, the big home runs each day."
Trout’s big series has the Angels feeling some optimism after entering having lost 18 of their last 20 games. They’re now back to three games under .500 at 33-36 and return home to host the last-place Royals for three games before the Mariners come to town for a three-game set next weekend
"It's big for us,” Trout said. “Obviously, to be able to do that after that skid we had, it's good. Hopefully it'll carry over."
The pitching was also much better against the Mariners outside of their 8-1 loss on Friday, as Seattle was held to a combined three runs in the Angels' four victories. Lefty Kenny Rosenberg threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his first Major League start on Sunday, while the bullpen shut down the Mariners the rest of the way.
Rosenberg, much like the rest of his teammates, continues to be in awe of Trout.
"It's amazing,” Rosenberg said. “It's an honor to share a uniform with him and the rest of these guys."