Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Trout’s 45th puts him in same breath as Griffey

@RhettBollinger
September 5, 2019

OAKLAND -- Mike Trout moved into a tie for the Major League lead in homers with an absolute blast into the third deck in left-center field at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday. Trout’s two-run shot off A’s left-hander Brett Anderson in the third inning of a 10-6 loss to the

OAKLAND -- Mike Trout moved into a tie for the Major League lead in homers with an absolute blast into the third deck in left-center field at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday.

Trout’s two-run shot off A’s left-hander Brett Anderson in the third inning of a 10-6 loss to the A’s gave him 45 homers on the year, tying him with the Mets’ Pete Alonso. The Dodgers' Cody Bellinger (44) and the Brewers' Christian Yelich (43) are also both in the thick of the home run race.

Box score

Trout’s homer had an exit velocity of 111.1 mph and went a projected 455 feet, per Statcast. The homer came on a first-pitch fastball, just like his previous one on Monday on a first-pitch fastball from Mike Fiers. Trout is now hitting .477 (21-for-44) with six homers and 13 RBIs on first pitches put into play this season.

"He threw all fastballs my first at-bat,” Trout said. “So I went up there after [David] Fletcher's base hit and I thought he was going to try to throw me a fastball to try to get a ground ball. I just got a good pitch to hit and hit it out."

Trout, aiming to win his third American League MVP Award, is the first AL center fielder to hit 45 or more homers in a season since Ken Griffey Jr. hit 48 in 1999, and he is also now two homers shy of tying Troy Glaus for the club record with 47, set in 2000. Trout, who has already surpassed his career high of 41 homers set in 2015, has never led the American League in homers and is up on Kansas City’s Jorge Soler by five blasts.

It was the fourth-farthest homer by Trout this year and his 10th-hardest by exit velocity this season. His farthest projected homer went 473 feet off Jakob Junis on May 18, while his best exit velocity on a homer this year is 114.4 mph, which he’s done twice.

The homer gave the Angels a 4-1 lead and came after Fletcher reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning.

"A couple of plays in the first inning didn’t go my way,” Anderson said. “Then Fletcher rolls a perfect bunt and Trout knocks Mount Davis out of town. It was a battle. I gave up quite a few hits, but there wasn’t a lot of hard contact other than [Justin] Upton’s hit and Trout’s homer.”

Trout, who went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored, also showed off his speed in the first, reaching on an infield single on a fairly routine grounder to the right side of shortstop Marcus Semien. Trout reached 29.6 feet per second on his way to first, higher than the MLB average of 27 and his season average of 29.2. He reached first in 4.34 seconds, his third-fastest time to first on a single this season.

It wasn’t all perfect for Trout, though, as he couldn’t quite come up with a deep drive to center from Oakland’s Robbie Grossman that went over his head near the wall for a go-ahead two-run triple with two outs that was part of a seven-run seventh inning for the A’s.

"I was playing in on him,” Trout said. “The sun the last couple innings was tough. I just battled through the sun and I was playing in, and he put a good swing on it and hit it hard."

Trout also had a tough time tracking a two-run single from Jurickson Profar that dropped in front of him with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth.

"I told everybody pre-pitch that anything in front of me or to my left was really tough,” Trout said. “On that ball, I looked straight up into the sun and I was seeing stars. So it was tough. Obviously, I wanted to catch it but I just couldn't see it."

So while Trout had another solid day offensively that leaves him hitting .293/.439/.647 with 110 runs scored and 104 RBIs in 132 games, it was yet another loss for the Angels, who have dropped four in a row and 11 of 13.

"It's tough," Trout said. "We grinded all day. Battled. Just one of those days. Walked a few batters and it hurt us."

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.