Trout (2), Pujols, Ohtani host HR show in rout

Pujols passes Griffey for 6th all-time with home run No. 631

July 26th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' slumping offense experienced a resurgence on Wednesday night, as , and homered off right-hander to power the club's 11-3 win over the White Sox at Angel Stadium.
It was the first time the trio has homered in the same game.

It wasn't the only bit of history made, as Pujols' second-inning solo shot gave him 631 home runs for his career, passing Ken Griffey Jr. for sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list. Trout enjoyed a memorable night of his own, launching a solo home run off Shields in the first inning and a three-run homer off reliever Chris Volstad in the sixth to collect his 13th career multi-homer game.

"It was fun to watch," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think we're more than home runs, but we do need to drive the ball, so it was good to see it tonight. We set the table for those guys the way we needed to. When it goes out of the park, it is part of our offense and it was good to have it, but we did a lot of good things tonight."
Entering Wednesday, the Angels (51-52) had lost five of their last six games, with 14 of their 23 runs scored during that stretch coming in Sunday's 14-5 rout of the Astros. Looking for a way to jolt the lineup, manager Mike Scioscia decided to move Ohtani up to the No. 2 spot, ahead of Trout, and slot back in the six hole.

The offense subsequently erupted for 11 runs, 14 hits and four home runs, giving the Angels their first win of this four-game series. Trout, Pujols, Simmons, and all finished with multiple hits, while Ohtani and drove in a pair of runs apiece.
"I was in the No. 2 hole, which I'm not really used to," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "But everyone around me was getting on, keeping the inning alive. We were very efficient with runners scoring. I thought it was really good."
It was more than enough support for left-hander , who earned his eighth win of the season after giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking none and striking out nine over six innings. Skaggs set the tone for the evening by striking out the first five batters he faced, becoming the first Angels pitcher to accomplish the feat since Jim Abbott on Sept. 19, 1995, at Oakland.
"I made a concerted effort to really slow down today when I was warming up because I know like the last three games I gave up a run in the first inning," said Skaggs, who has logged a 1.44 ERA over his last eight outings. "Coming in today, I really wanted to have a strong start."

The White Sox had pitched Trout carefully over the first two games of the series, walking him six times in nine plate appearances, but they couldn't contain him in the first. Trout blasted a 3-1 cutter from Shields to left-center field to put the Angels on the board with his 27th home run of the season. Trout, who also doubled off Shields in the third, is now 6-for-15 (.357) with four home runs, a triple and a double against the veteran right-hander in his career.
"I'm always going to be ready," Trout said. "I'm not going up there thinking that they're going to walk me. I've got to have the mindset of saying to myself, 'I'm going to get a pitch to hit,' and just taking the walks when they come."

Added White Sox manager Rick Renteria: "He's got a really good eye. He knows what he's looking for. He knows his zone. When he puts a good swing on a pitch in his zone, he knows he can do damage. But he's got a great eye, and he has continued to evolve as a hitter."
Pujols extended the lead to 2-0 with his milestone blast, depositing a first-pitch fastball from Shields 430 feet over the left-field fence for his longest home run of the season.
The White Sox briefly tied it by scoring two runs in the fourth. After singled and doubled to put runners on second and third with one out, shot a hard-hit grounder to left field that deflected off Simmons' glove, allowing Leury Garcia to score on the error. then brought in Abreu from third with a sacrifice fly to center field.
"Tyler, he battled," Scioscia said. "They've got some right-handed hitters that if you miss some spots, they're going to let you know. I thought that he did a good job of minimizing some damage when they did get the two runs and finished strong."

The Angels regained the lead with a four-run fifth that was highlighted by Ohtani's towering two-run shot. Fletcher led off the inning with a single and scored the go-ahead run from first on Calhoun's double to right field. Ohtani followed by pummeling a first-pitch fastball from Shields to the bleachers in right-center field, extending the Angels' lead to 5-2. Ohtani's ninth home run of the season -- all of which have come at Angel Stadium -- traveled a projected 446 feet, making it his second-longest homer of the year. Simmons capped the inning with an RBI single that gave the Angels a four-run lead.
The Angels then came back to score five more runs in the sixth on Trout's three-run homer to the opposite field and Valbuena's two-run double to go up, 11-2, and put the game out of reach for the White Sox. It was the first time the Angels had batted around in consecutive innings since June 5, 2010 at Seattle.

"It definitely makes baseball a lot more fun," Skaggs said. "It's a good time to be an Angel when that happens."
The Angels will send right-hander Nick Tropeano (3-5, 4.58 ERA) to the mound on Thursday as they close out their four-game series against the White Sox at 1:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Right-hander (4-5, 4.95 ERA) will start for Chicago. Tropeano gave up two runs (one earned) over five innings against the Astros on Saturday in his first start since returning from the disabled list. He surrendered six runs over 4 1/3 innings in his only career start against the White Sox on Aug. 20, 2014.