Hot as ever, Trout, Ohtani go back-to-back

Homers stake Angels to early lead, but it's short-lived in loss to White Sox

June 29th, 2022

ANAHEIM -- It's become an all-too-common storyline for the Angels over the years.

Superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani homered against the White Sox on Tuesday, but it came in a lopsided 11-4 loss at Angel Stadium. Trout and Ohtani went back-to-back as part of a three-run third inning, marking the second time they hit consecutive blasts this year -- they also accomplished the feat on May 9 against the Rays -- and the fifth time overall.

But just as quickly as the Angels took the lead, they gave it right back, as right-hander Chase Silseth allowed three runs as part of a five-run fifth inning for the White Sox, who also had a five-run seventh.

"It happened pretty quick,” said acting manager Ray Montgomery. “It tends to happen that way. We got off to a good start and Chase was rolling along pretty good."

Trout's solo homer off veteran right-hander Johnny Cueto left the bat at 106.2 mph and went a projected 378 feet to left field, per Statcast. It was the team-leading 23rd homer of the year for Trout, which is tied for the second most in the Majors behind only Aaron Judge's 28 homers with the Yankees.

Ohtani, who laced a double in the first with an exit velocity of 115.2 mph, then followed with a solo shot of his own to center field on a 1-1 cutter. It was also crushed, leaving his bat at 107.1 mph and traveling a projected 420 feet. Ohtani later added an RBI double down the left-field line in the seventh. He went 3-for-3 with a homer, two doubles and a walk.

"Over the last three weeks or so, we've seen a progression from him,” Montgomery said. “The contact has been crisp. He hit some balls in Seattle and you could see things changing for him. I think this is just a continuation."

Ohtani’s strong performance impressed White Sox center fielder Luis Robert, who noted that Ohtani is also scheduled to start on the mound in the series finale on Wednesday.

“To see a guy that can hit homers and the next day can pitch seven, eight innings, that’s crazy,” Robert said. “You don’t see that.”

Shortstop Andrew Velazquez also homered with one out in the third. But it was all the Angels could muster against Cueto through six innings.

It quickly unraveled for the Angels from there, as Silseth ran into trouble with one out in the fifth. He gave up an RBI double to Seby Zavala and a game-tying two-run homer to Josh Harrison that knocked him from the game after having thrown 72 pitches.

"I was maybe trying to do too much with pitches and leaving them up,” said Silseth, who struck out six over 4 1/3 innings. “Trying to make them nastier than you need to. It was the best my stuff had felt in that last couple months. Got on cruise control and maybe got too comfortable. It's all part of the learning curve."

The depleted bullpen struggled the rest of the way, as the White Sox tacked on two more runs in the inning on a two-run blast from Robert off right-hander Oliver Ortega. Chicago added five runs in the seventh, with four runs being charged to Elvis Peguero and another to Jaime Barría.

Trout noticed that Peguero was tipping his pitches based on how he was holding his glove before he delivered the ball. Peguero said he saw the viral video of Trout pointing out Peguero’s tipping issues from center field and that he plans to talk to the pitching coaches about it.

"Trout was saying that I was tipping,” Peguero said through interpreter Manny Del Campo. “Like I was putting the ball further from my body and then the other times it was closer. So we're working on that."

The bullpen remains an issue for the Angels, especially with right-hander Archie Bradley out for at least two months with a fractured right elbow suffered in Sunday’s brawl with the Mariners. Right-hander Andrew Wantz is also currently suspended for throwing at Jesse Winker on Sunday, while other key relievers such as Jimmy Herget (shoulder impingement) and Austin Warren (triceps strain) are on the injured list.

"When you're playing down a man at any position, it's challenging,” Montgomery said. “But I still felt good with where we were going into different spots in the game. It got quick there, as rallies tend to do."