A day after tying Tim Salmon for the most home runs in Angels history, Mike Trout broke the franchise record with his 300th career homer on Saturday in Game 1 of a seven-inning doubleheader against the Astros.
Trout crushed a 1-2 fastball from right-hander Brandon Bielak for a two-run homer to right in the third inning to set the club mark. It also moved the three-time American League MVP Award winner into the Major League lead with 15 homers this season. The two-run shot was part of a 10-9 walk-off win for the Halos that featured a game-time temperature of 109 degrees, setting an Angel Stadium record. Trout went 3-for-3, also collecting two doubles and a walk in a victory that was capped by a walk-off two-run single from Jo Adell in the seventh.
"It means a lot," Trout said. "I'm going to be here for a while. It would be a lot better if there were fans in the stands to see it, but that's the way we're living in 2020. But it's a great milestone. Obviously, having Salmon here at our home games, he's passing it on to me. We're always linked together because of our last names. It was a pretty cool day, and getting the win, too."
Trout's record-setting blast came in his 10th season with the Angels and in his 1,235th game. Salmon played 14 seasons and 1,672 games with the Halos. In a cool moment, Salmon appeared in a segment on Fox Sports West in the fourth inning to congratulate Trout on-air. The two have grown close due to Salmon's role as an analyst, and Salmon called it an honor to be passed by a player as good as Trout. And Trout gestured to Salmon, who was in the concourse, after the homer.
"It's time to pass the torch on to somebody in the family -- another fish," Salmon said. "It lasted 20 years, 18 days, 3 hours and 37 minutes, but who's counting? I knew that the day they signed him to a long-term deal that was it. The only thing that would've kept him from doing it was going somewhere else. But without a doubt, he's the best player of his generation and one of the best of all time."
Trout's homer also moved him into a tie with Hall of Famer Chuck Klein for 150th on MLB's all-time homer list. He's the 11th active player to reach the 300-homer mark, joining Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnación, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Braun, Robinson Canó, Jay Bruce, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Upton and Evan Longoria.
“He’s a special player,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He is the consummate pro with some of the sickest ability in the history of this game. So all the credit to him. It’s no surprise. And he’s what, 29? There’s a lot of time left.”
At 29 years, 29 days old, Trout became the 11th youngest player to hit 300 homers, and at 1,235 games, he became the 18th fastest to reach the mark. He also became one of five players to hit career homer No. 300 in an Angels uniform, joining Joe Adcock (1964), Lance Parrish (1991), Vladimir Guerrero (2005) and Upton (2020).
"I still just enjoy watching him play," said right-hander Griffin Canning, who gave up four runs over four innings. "I like to just pick him out during a game and just watch how he carries himself."
Trout's homer helped the Angels carry a 7-6 lead going into the seventh. Andrelton Simmons put the Halos ahead with an RBI double in the sixth, but Felix Peña couldn’t hold the lead in the seventh, allowing three runs.
But the Angels came back with three runs of their own in the seventh, keyed by a game-tying RBI double from Justin Upton, who also homered and went 3-for-4. It set the stage for Adell’s first career walk-off hit, as the rookie had a big game that also featured a homer in the fourth and a homer-robbing catch in the first. But Adell came away amazed by yet another milestone from Trout.
"He's on an unreal level and has been his whole career," Adell said. "It's special to be out there with him in a game when he hits his 300th homer. Those are moments and memories and times you're just glad to be a part of."