Trout makes history with 473-foot moonshot as part of two-HR night

April 2nd, 2024

MIAMI -- The last time played baseball at loanDepot park, the ball didn’t go his way.

That was last March, when he was struck out by then-Angels teammate Shohei Ohtani for the final out of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, handing Team Japan the victory.

But that’s no longer one of the biggest stories from his time playing in Miami. Now, he has his spot in the ballpark’s history not as one of the most memorable strikeouts, but as one of the longest home runs.

Right after hometown kid Nolan Schanuel cracked a solo homer to pull the Angels within one run in the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 7-4 series-opening win on Monday night, Trout stepped to the plate. He had already gone yard in his previous at-bat, a solo blast in the fourth inning, after striking out his first time up.

This time, though, he didn’t just hit a routine home run to left field.

This time, he truly went yard. Trout’s third homer of the season was a no-doubter, as many of his homers are. It soared through the air, nearly clearing the open windows in left-center field as it traveled a Statcast-projected 473 feet.

“That's probably one of the better balls I've hit, just like barreled it, and [have] actually seen it go out instead of [having to] run around the bases,” Trout said. “So, it felt pretty good. Just trying to -- like I said, I've been telling you this for a couple weeks now -- just trying to get back to myself, and today I kind of got back to that.”

With that homer, Trout surpassed Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the longest home run of this short season and joined the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Avisaíl García with the fifth-longest of the ballpark’s history since Statcast started tracking in 2015. (Stanton hit three homers between 475 and 479 feet, and García hit a 485-footer in 2019.)

Trout’s jack -- both homers, honestly -- helped clear the slate for Los Angeles and starting pitcher Chase Silseth, who got into trouble with a four-run (three earned) first inning which put the Angels in an early hole. Trout’s 26th career multi-homer game came at the perfect time, when the Angels were looking to avoid losing to a Miami team that entered the series 0-4. It also propelled him into sole possession of 81st place in all-time AL/NL home runs (371), surpassing Gil Hodges (370).

“What a night,” manager Ron Washington said. “That was very impressive. Very impressive. I don't know where he ‘lost’ anything, you know? He's healthy, and those two balls he hit -- he put a charge on them. And that one at-bat [in the eighth] when he ended up walking, that was excellent too. He had a tremendous night, and we certainly needed that.”

While power gave the Angels a fighting chance, it was finesse (or, the Marlins’ lack thereof) that pushed Los Angeles ahead. Three straight walks to the top of the order in the eighth set the table for Taylor Ward, who hit a routine grounder to Luis Arraez at second base. But Arraez fumbled the ball on the transfer and a run scored. Another run crossed the plate in the ninth after Logan O’Hoppe and Jo Adell -- who each entered as pinch-hitters in the seventh -- tripled and singled, respectively.

“The guys never gave up,” Washington said. “They were in the dugout, cheering, [along the lines of] ‘Let's just break into that lead and hold 'em right there.’ Our bullpen did an excellent job of getting us where they got us until we were able to put something together.

“We did what the game asked us to do. But again, the things that [were] done out there that gave us a chance to win was done by our bullpen. They came in and they actually pitched very, very well. Each and every one of them.”

The Angels’ bullpen has been -- for Washington at least -- the overarching story in both of Los Angeles’ wins thus far, providing impressive resistance against first an Orioles, then a Marlins lineup stacked with talented hitters.

But on Monday night, it was Trout who stole the show. If only he had stolen a base, too. Maybe next game, if we’re lucky. He only has six over his past four seasons, after all.