Anything Trout can't do? Hits HR for young fan

May 11th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- As tough as cross-country trips can be, Angels superstar Mike Trout probably wishes he could visit Camden Yards more often. This year’s stop may have come at the perfect time.

Trout launched his ninth career home run in Baltimore in the third inning of Friday’s rain-delayed 8-3 victory over the Orioles, a majestic two-run shot off Dan Straily that sailed just beyond the reach of leaping center fielder Stevie Wilkerson. Trout later added an RBI double to complete an encouraging night after entering Friday on a rare 2-for-16 slide.

“Just feeling normal,” Trout said of his night, which came a couple days after some extra hitting work in Detroit. “You take some swings and you’re like, ‘What’s going on? Something’s off.’ And just recognizing it and just trying to fix it in the cage.

“I hit some balls hard tonight, and obviously one went over the fence. It’s a good start.”

Before the game, Trout rekindled his relationship with 7-year-old fan Gavin Edelson, whom he met during last summer’s trip to Camden Yards.

Once again, the pair convened pregame as Trout gifted Edelson one of his bats. Once again, Edelson requested Trout hit a home run. And once again, Trout obliged, this time shortly after Edelson was interviewed by the Angels’ TV broadcast.

“Obviously, he knew a lot about me since the first time,” Trout said afterward. “He was a little shy the first time. He was still shy today, but he talked to me more. But what a great family.”

Trout’s eighth homer of 2019 gave Los Angeles a two-run lead in the series opener, on a night that ended with the Angels 3-1 so far on a nine-game road trip. Before a storm halted play for one hour and 49 minutes ahead of the seventh inning, his RBI double came during a five-run fifth that provided righty Trevor Cahill more than enough run support for his first win in over a month.

In 26 games, Trout has now homered more at Oriole Park than anywhere else outside the American League West, including his first Major League roundtripper, belted on July 24, 2011. He’s actually homered more in Charm City than in Houston’s Minute Maid Park, where he’s played nearly twice as many games (49).

“I can’t tell you a reason why,” said Trout, who grew up a two-hour drive away in Millville, N.J. “I enjoy playing in front of my home fans who travel from Millville and around the East Coast. I couldn’t tell you one particular thing.”

Trout’s double is considerably more rare at the closest AL park to his hometown. Overall, his line on Eutaw Street is .269/.336/.567, with only his slugging percentage approaching his career average.

Trout also knows a little bit about the play Wilkerson was trying to make. It was seven years ago here that he made one of the most memorable grabs of his career, robbing J.J. Hardy of a roundtripper with a leaping, ice-cream cone grab in right-center.

Cahill climbing

Bolstered by the Angels' outburst and carrying a strong changeup, Cahill completed six innings for the first time since April 8, allowing two runs on four hits and zero walks while striking out five.

“I threw it a little bit more today,” Cahill said of his offspeed offering, which helped him lower his ERA more than a half-run to 6.35. “Usually the more you throw a pitch, the better you feel with it. I was throwing it a lot early, and I had a good feel with it. And then you kind of roll with it.”

It looked like it might be another rough outing when Trey Mancini’s homer -- the 13th Cahill has allowed this season -- put the Orioles up 1-0 after just their second batter.

Instead, Cahill retired Baltimore’s next seven, and followed Chris Davis’ RBI single in the fourth with two more perfect frames. Moments before the rain came, he struck out Dwight Smith Jr. and Rio Ruiz to end his night.

“Had it not rained,” said manager Brad Ausmus, “I probably would’ve sent him back out.”