Trout homers in 7th straight game, 1 shy of AL/NL record

September 13th, 2022

CLEVELAND -- Angels superstar can’t stop homering.

Trout went deep for a seventh straight game on Monday against the Guardians at Progressive Field to extend his club record and come within one blast of tying the AL/NL record of eight straight games set by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly ('87) and Ken Griffey Jr. ('93).

Trout, a three-time AL MVP and 10-time All-Star, became just the ninth player in AL or NL history to homer in seven straight games and the first since Joey Votto did it with the Reds last year. Trout’s homer came in the fifth inning off lefty Konnor Pilkington and tied the game at 4-4 in an eventual 5-4 loss.

“I feel like I’ve just been getting good pitches to hit, and I’m putting good swings on them and they’re going out,” Trout said. “It felt good. I’m going up there ready to hit, and whatever happens, happens.”

Trout jumped all over a first-pitch fastball for his 35th homer of the year, which gives him the club lead over Shohei Ohtani, who has 34. The homer left his bat at 106.7 mph and went a Statcast-projected 422 feet to center field. The ball bounced back into the field of play off the railing above the fence, and Trout received it as a keepsake after the game.

“It just happens,” Trout said when asked if he thinks about the homer streak. “I just let it go. Try to have a good at-bat and get a good pitch to hit. I think about it after it happens, like you realize [the streak] is still going. But other than that, I don’t think about it.”

Trout’s streak started against the Astros on Sept. 4, before he homered in three straight games against the Tigers. He homered again on Friday and Saturday in Houston, but he was held out of the lineup on Sunday.

Trout’s home run on Saturday gave him the club record previously held by Bobby Bonds, who homered in five straight with the Angels from Aug. 2-7, 1977. Trout’s previous career high was four straight games with a homer, which he accomplished twice (May 12-15, 2017, and April 4-7, 2019).

The only other players to homer in seven straight games are Long, Mattingly, Griffey Jr., Votto, Kendrys Morales, Kevin Mench, Barry Bonds and Jim Thome.

Trout will have the chance to tie the record for most consecutive games with a homer on Tuesday, when rookie right-hander Cody Morris starts for the Guardians. It’s just the third career start for Morris, so Trout has never faced him.

“I knew I needed five to tie the Angels record, and now I need eight,” Trout said. “It’s good company to be in. But I’ll come in tomorrow with the same approach.”

Trout, 30, went 1-for-4 on Monday. He is hitting .279/.368/.633 with 35 homers, 20 doubles and 69 RBIs in 100 games this season. He missed a little more than a month with an upper back/rib cage injury before returning on Aug. 19.

He’s been on fire since his return, batting .313/.367/.747 with 11 home runs and 18 RBIs in 21 games. He’s hitting .393 with seven home runs and 11 RBIs during his homer streak.

Trout’s two-run blast was the second homer of the game for the Angels, as Matt Duffy also connected on a two-run shot in the fourth inning. But it wasn’t enough, as lefty Reid Detmers gave up four runs over five-plus innings and Aaron Loup allowed an RBI double to Amed Rosario in a wild seventh inning that saw both managers get ejected.

Guardians skipper Terry Francona was thrown out after a long argument with home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa about not being able to challenge a potential hit by pitch. After reliever Ryan Tepera wasn’t allowed to throw any warmup pitches following that argument, interim manager Phil Nevin was ejected.

Nevin said he’s been impressed by Trout during his stretch.

“He just missed one earlier, and you could see his swings were good,” Nevin said. “You knew if the guy missed down in the zone there, he might get one. And sure enough, the first pitch of that at-bat, he threw a fastball down in the zone and Trouty got it. It was a big homer in a big spot to tie the game and really gave us a lot of life. I thought Reid threw well, but [he] lost his slider in the second inning. And in the seventh, Loup got the ground ball, but it was down the line and we couldn’t make the play.”