ANAHEIM -- Any worries about Mike Trout’s 0-for-11 “slump” over his last four games went away in a hurry against the White Sox on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.
Trout went 4-for-4 with a walk and four runs and became the fastest Angels player to reach the 40-homer mark in a season, as his solo blast off White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez in an 8-7 victory came in the Angels’ 123rd game of the year, breaking Troy Glaus' record of reaching 40 homers in 136 team games in 2000.
“It’s pretty cool, pretty special,” Trout said. “Coming into the season, telling myself I’d hit 40, I’d be really happy with that. I just got to keep it going, try to finish strong and see where it goes.”
The solo shot moved him into a tie with the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger for the Major League lead and gave Trout his second 40-homer season, with his first coming in 2015 when he hit a career-high 41 blasts. Trout and Glaus are the only players in club history to have multiple seasons with at least 40 swats, as Glaus reached the mark in both 2000 and 2001. Glaus also holds the franchise record with 47 fourbaggers set in 2000.
Trout said he’s been watching the home run race closely -- the Brewers’ Christian Yelich and the Mets’ Pete Alonso are right behind him with 39 dingers apiece. With 40 home runs in 123 team games, Trout is on pace for 53 homers this season. He’s never led the American League in homers, but currently leads Kansas City’s Jorge Soler by five.
“I’m pulling for all those guys,” Trout said. “Alonso’s got 39, Yelich with 39. I saw Bellinger hit 40. I’m pulling for all those guys. It’s going to be fun down the stretch. I’m not trying to hit homers, just barreling the ball up and they’re going out.”
Trout’s homer came with two outs in the third, as he clobbered a 2-1 changeup down and away from Lopez off the rocks in center field. Trout's long ball left the bat at 105.5 mph and went a projected 419 feet, per Statcast. It was his first big fly since Saturday.
“I like it down,” Trout said with a smile. “Everybody knows that.”
Trout also matched his season high of four hits set on June 17 against the Blue Jays. He also became the first Angels player with four hits and four runs scored in a game since Shohei Ohtani against the Rangers on Sept. 5, 2018. It was the 18th four-hit game of Trout's career and the third time he had at least four hits and four runs scored in a game. The last time he pulled off a four-hit, four-run game was on Aug. 30, 2017, against the A's.
"He was all right," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said with a laugh. "I thought the home run was impressive because he was fooled on it. He was out in front and he was still able to golf it over the center-field wall. So yeah, he's OK."
Trout acknowledged that some frustration set in after going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts on Wednesday, so he was pleased to snap out of his recent funk.
“The last couple days, or a week, I’ve been battling,” Trout said. “I’m getting good pitches to hit and just fouling them off. I felt a lot better today. When you go up there and get a pitch to hit and foul it straight back three or four times in a row, it’s frustrating. But we won the last two games, and tonight I felt pretty good.”
Ausmus, though, wasn’t even aware that Trout was hitless over his last four games, given that he reached base safely eight times via walks in those games.
"I didn't know he was 0-for-11,” Ausmus said. “I know last night he wasn't real happy with his at-bats. I think he'll be in a better mood in the food room tonight."