Mike Trout continued to torment the Mariners with two more homers on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough in a 7-6 loss at T-Mobile Park, as the bullpen scuffled yet again, and rookie right fielder Jo Adell had a tough night defensively. The Angels, who went deep four times on the night, have hit the third-most homers in the Majors with 20, yet they fell to 4-8.
Max Stassi, David Fletcher and Trout each homered off Mariners lefty Marco Gonzales, including Fletcher and Trout connecting on back-to-back solo shots in the sixth. It was the second straight game with a homer for both Fletcher and Trout, while Stassi continued his hot start, launching his third of the season.
Angels manager Joe Maddon has been impressed by Trout, who has looked even better since his return from the paternity list.
"I saw something good tonight, or really the last two days," Maddon said. "That last ball was absolutely mangled. He's on top of everything right now. The at-bats are good. Pitches that he had been falling off prior to the birth are not being fouled off right now."
Stassi has shown that his recent swing changes have paid off, as he now has as many homers as he did hits last year with the club, when he went 3-for-42. He gave the Angels a 1-0 lead with his blast in the third on a 1-1 cutter.
Fletcher hadn’t homered until Tuesday, but he now has two in 12 games this season after hitting six in 154 games last year. His homer Wednesday came on an 0-2 sinker.
Trout followed with his third homer of the year, and it was another special one for the three-time AL MVP. Trout homered in his first at-bat as a dad on Tuesday after missing four games to attend the birth of his first son, Beckham Aaron on Thursday. And on Wednesday, he homered twice on the birthday of the late Aaron Cox, who was Beckham Aaron’s namesake. Cox, the brother of Trout’s wife, Jessica, committed suicide in 2018.
Trout added a three-run blast in the eighth on a 3-2 slider from reliever Taylor Williams to bring the Angels within one. It was Trout’s 19th career multihomer game, while his 27 career homers at T-Mobile Park are the most by any opposing player.
But the homers weren’t enough with the bullpen scuffling and right-hander Julio Teheran on a limited pitch count in his first start of the season after testing positive for COVID-19 in late June.
Teheran was on a 60-pitch limit and was pulled with two runners on and two out in the third after throwing 52 pitches. Lefty Ryan Buchter came in and promptly gave up a three-run blast to Kyle Seager, with two of those runs charged to Teheran.
“We just went with the higher percentage play and it just didn't work out," Maddon said. "I thought [Teheran] was good. It was just one of those things where we had to make up our minds, and we did."
Adell, playing in the second game of his career, didn’t help the bullpen with miscues in right field in the fifth and seventh innings. In the fifth, he misread a double from Dylan Moore to open the inning, and Kyle Lewis followed with an RBI single off Matt Andriese for an insurance run. But Maddon didn’t fault Adell for that particular play.
"He played the ball off the wall perfectly," Maddon said. "He made a good decision on that. Because had he gone for the ball and it kicked out, it could have been a triple. So I told him that was a good play."
The Mariners added three more runs with two outs in the seventh against reliever Mike Mayers, and Adell again had some issues. With two runners in scoring position, Austin Nola hit a drive into right-center and Trout and Adell appeared to have some miscommunication as it dropped in for a two-run double. Evan White followed with a slicing liner into the right-field corner. Adell made a sliding try for the ball, but it landed for an RBI double.
"I thought Jo had a chance at it because the ball was coming back toward him and away from Mike," Maddon said. "I think as they get to play next to one another more often, they'll be able to make the call on that. And the ball in the right-field corner, it kinda gets abrupt real quick. He just needs to get more work in these spots. There's nothing routine about the plays he was involved in."