Trout’s Late Home Run Ignites Angels’ Offense in Victory Over Tampa Bay

Trout’s Late Home Run Ignites Angels’ Offense in Victory Over Tampa Bay
Mike Trout (R) and third-base coach Eric Young celebrate Trout's home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 15, 2024. (Steve Nesius/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Mike Trout’s two-run home run highlighted a five-run, eighth-inning outburst Monday night, April 15, that gave the Los Angeles Angels a 7–3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Trout gave the Angels a 2–1 lead with his seventh homer, a 111.1 mph, 420-foot shot down the left-field line off Pat Maton (0–1). Matt Thaiss extended the Angels’ lead to 5–1 with three-run double.

“We needed a big one at the right time, and [Trout] came through,” Angels Manager Ron Washington said. “It opened it up for everyone else.”

It was Trout’s 17th career game-tying or go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later. In his past 10 games against Tampa Bay, he is hitting .472 (17 for 36) with eight home runs and 15 RBIs.

Taylor Ward added a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Kevin Kelly, extending the Los Angeles lead to 7–3. The 30-year-old outfielder has 19 RBIs this season.

Reliever Luis Garcia (1–0) worked an inning and earned the win.

Tampa Bay entered with the highest bullpen earned-run average in the major leagues at 6.23.

Harold Ramírez had three RBIs, and pulled the Rays within 5–3 with a two-run homer off former Tampa Bay left-hander Matt Moore in the eighth inning.

Mr. Washington tweaked his lineup—moving Trout from third to second, and shifting Ward to third from fourth—“to get some offense.” Miguel Sanó battled fourth and had three hits.

“We finally sustained some stuff on the offensive side, as we’ve been searching for,” the manager said.

Los Angeles entered the game 19th in the majors in batting average at .240, and 20th in runs with 67.

Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin allowed six hits and struck out five over 6 1/3 scoreless innings. It appeared that Eflin got hit near the left wrist by Jo Adell’s 100.1 mph liner in the second inning, and had a liner by Brandon Drury go off his glove in the fifth.

“They got a couple hits in the first inning, and then he kind of quieted them down,” Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. “Really executed pitches.”

The Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but scored just once, on Ramírez’s one-out high hopper that starter Patrick Sandoval fielded behind the mound and got the out at first.

Sandoval gave up one run and four hits over five innings, and finished with three strikeouts and two walks.

Trainer’s Room

Angels: Second baseman Brandon Drury left with a hamstring injury and will be evaluated Tuesday. ... Reliever Robert Stephenson, who agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract in January, is getting tests for elbow soreness. The 31-year-old right-hander started the season on the injured list due to right-shoulder inflammation. … First baseman Nolan Schanuel (testicular contusion) was back in the lineup. He left Saturday’s game in the bottom of the third inning after fouling off a pitch in the top of the inning.
Rays: Outfielder Josh Lowe (right-oblique strain) could join Triple-A Durham, N.C., on Thursday. He hit .292 with 20 homers, 83 RBIs and 32 stolen bases last year.

Up Next

Angels Right-hander José Soriano (0–2) and Rays righty Aaron Civale (2–1) are Tuesday’s starters.
By Mark Didtler