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Trout slugs homers 23, 24 to lift Halos

Barria racks up 8 strikeouts; Upton exits with quad tightness
July 4, 2019

ARLINGTON -- When Angels players publicly discussed the death of teammate Tyler Skaggs for the first time on Tuesday, Mike Trout was the first player to step up to the microphone. On Wednesday night, he let his bat do the talking. Trout went deep twice in a 6-2 victory over

ARLINGTON -- When Angels players publicly discussed the death of teammate Tyler Skaggs for the first time on Tuesday, Mike Trout was the first player to step up to the microphone.

On Wednesday night, he let his bat do the talking. Trout went deep twice in a 6-2 victory over the Rangers, the Halos’ second in a row at Globe Life Park. It was Trout’s 17th career multihomer game and third this season; he's now tied for the American League lead with 24 swats.

Box score

“It’s impressive,” Angels left fielder Justin Upton said of Trout’s success. “You know the talent’s there, but how he takes each at-bat -- he’s locked in every at-bat, he doesn’t give a pitch away and when pitchers make mistakes like they did tonight, he very rarely misses them. It’s always fun to sit back and watch that.”

Trout’s 420-foot, three-run shot in the third inning put the Angels up 4-0 after Matt Thaiss doubled in his first Major League at-bat and was singled home by Kole Calhoun. Trout’s leadoff homer in the sixth also provided a key insurance run.

All this came less than 24 hours after Trout spoke at an emotionally raw news conference in which he and other Angels players broke down while talking about Skaggs’ tragic passing.

“Yesterday was one of the toughest games I’ve played in a while, ever. … It’s good to get back in the routine of things, and just go out there and get your mind off it,” Trout said.

Manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday’s game was more like a normal game, although the Angels are still coming to terms with the tragedy.

“It was less emotional,” Ausmus said. “Yesterday and Monday were so emotional, if it was that emotional again, I think these guys would be absolutely exhausted. Today was probably the first day where there was an occasional smile. But it’s still going to take time. It isn’t the type of thing that goes away quickly.”

Angels starter Jaime Barria navigated through five innings while allowing only two earned runs on four hits. He struck out eight, a career high, and walked two.

Barria has allowed only four earned runs in 15 innings over his last three starts.

“The key is commanding my pitches -- that’s been the key for these past three starts,” Barria said through a translator.

After Barria, four Angels relievers strung together four scoreless innings without yielding a hit or walking a batter -- only one Rangers hitter reached base, on an error. Justin Anderson, Ty Buttrey, Cam Bedrosian and Hansel Robles each pitched a shutout frame.

Halos pitchers struck out 16 Rangers on Wednesday.

“The pitchers did a good job. Jaime did a nice job for five and every single guy that came in after him had a clean inning,” Ausmus said.

Upton leaves with quad tightness

Upton left the game in the sixth inning, when he felt tightness in his left quadriceps muscle after sliding into second attempting to break up a double play. He does not expect to go on the injured list, but may get the day off on Thursday.

“I didn’t feel anything initially on the slide or running, or anything, it’s just when I got up and jogged back to the dugout, I felt a little tight,” Upton said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. I’m sure they’ll probably be pretty cautious tomorrow, but I’ll come in with the idea that depending on how it feels, try to go with a normal day and hope it feels fine.”

No Derby day for Ohtani this year

Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani wasn’t selected for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby next week, but he had a quip at the ready Wednesday night when asked if it was something he’d like to participate in someday.

“Maybe once I start hitting more homers. ... If I become a home run hitter,” Ohtani said. He has 12 homers in 49 games this season.