HOUSTON -- Mike Trout has accomplished a lot in his 12-year career. He’s a 10-time All-Star who won the American League Rookie of the Year in 2012, has been crowned American League MVP three times and has eight Silver Slugger Awards to his name.
Now, he can add hitting a homer in five straight games to that list.
Trout knocked a two-run blast in the Angels' 4-3 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday night, coming on the heels of four straight games at home with solo shots.
Entering Friday as the active Major League career leader in OBP (.415) and slugging (.585), Trout has numerous Angels franchise records to his name, including being the club’s all-time home run leader with 343.
He now owns a share of another franchise record: most consecutive games with a homer. As he donned the Angels' home run cowboy hat for the fifth straight day, he was also celebrating tying a mark set by Bobby Bonds from Aug. 2-7, 1977.
“[Trout] works hard and has been really working hard in the cage,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He’s just taking some good passes and really good at-bats against some good pitchers.”
Trout continues to indicate that his body is feeling healthy again, after he was out from July 13-Aug. 18 due to an upper back/rib cage injury. His production has reflected that, with hits in 14 of his last 18 games.
But what has stood out recently has been the power. By homering in four straight games from Sept. 4-7, he tied a personal-best streak, accomplished twice before from May 12-15, 2017, and April 4-7, 2019.
Adding a fifth was going to be a challenge for the New Jersey native, who has struggled against the Astros at Minute Maid Park, where he had a career batting average of .206 entering Friday. On top of that, he was facing Lance McCullers Jr., who has given him trouble in the past; Trout had gone 5-for-26 with 10 strikeouts in his career against the righty.
“I can’t tell you what it is here as I just don’t see the ball well here,” Trout said. “I was just going to try to be on time at the plate.”
The timing was not there early, as Trout flied out in the first and third innings. But he approached the plate calmly for his third at-bat in the sixth inning and did not miss his chance. With one out and Max Stassi on first base, Trout crushed a 91.5 mph sinker a Statcast-projected 429 feet to left-center field.
“It did not surprise me,” said Friday’s starter Michael Lorenzen, who threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his return from the injured list. “That ball got out in a heartbeat and it was awesome.”
The long ball, No. 33 on the season for Trout, tied Shohei Ohtani for the Angels team lead.
“It’s pretty cool,” Trout said. “I think any time you can tie or break any franchise record for doing something, it’s cool.”
Despite recent success at the plate, Trout feels that there are some adjustments left to master his swing.
“I’m still working on timing,” Trout said. “Some pitches, I feel I’m on time and some, I’m a tick late. When I’m on time, I see the ball really well.
“I just have to start early, it’s simple. When you’re in the moment, you feel you are on time but you are not. I just need to start a little earlier.”