Trout vaporizes baseball for 1,500th hit

August 24th, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG -- Angels superstar picked up career hit No. 1,500 in an 11-1 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night. It came in memorable fashion, as he absolutely crushed a solo homer off the C-ring catwalk at Tropicana Field.

Trout, who returned to the lineup on Friday after missing a month with a back/rib cage injury, jumped all over a 2-1 curveball from right-hander Corey Kluber and hit a moonshot to left field that hit off the C-ring in the sixth inning for his 25th homer of the season. It left the bat at 108 mph and would have traveled a projected 429 feet if it hadn’t hit the catwalk, per Statcast. It was the second unusual hit of the series for Trout, who also hit a ball twice for an RBI single in Monday’s 2-1 loss.

“He looks really good,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “I think just each day, you see the timing is a little better. His approach is always good. He understands what guys are trying to do. The swing decisions have gotten better each day, and then to see him get into one like that was good.”

Trout, a three-time American League MVP and 10-time All-Star, became just the fifth Angels player to reach the 1,500-hit milestone with the club, joining Garret Anderson (2,368), Tim Salmon (1,674), Brian Downing (1,588) and Darin Erstad (1,505). Additionally, Trout has now scored 1,023 runs in his career with Los Angeles, which trails Anderson by just one run for the club’s all-time lead.

It also gave Trout his ninth season with at least 25 homers, which extended his club record. Salmon held the previous mark with six seasons with at least 25 blasts. Trout’s former teammate Albert Pujols has the most 25-homer seasons by an active player with 15. Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron hold the all-time record with 18 such seasons.

The homer was also another good sign that Trout is feeling healthy after missing 28 games. Trout, 30, has batted .278 (5-for-18) with one homer, one walk and two RBIs in five games since returning. The homer was his first since July 8. He’s batting .270/.365/.590 with 53 RBIs in 84 games this year.

But Trout provided the only RBI for the Angels in a second straight game, as their offense continued to struggle. He was removed in the eighth inning for pinch-hitter Jo Adell, as the Angels were down by eight runs after relievers Jesse Chavez and Touki Toussaint allowed a combined six runs in the seventh. Los Angeles has scored a combined six runs over its past five games despite Trout’s return from the IL, going 1-4 over that stretch.

“We're just struggling quite a bit with the guys,” Nevin said. “We’ve hit some balls hard at the top of the lineup here and there. But for the most part, we're struggling offensively, especially in the bottom of the order. You have to be consistent throughout the entire lineup and we just haven’t been.”