Mike Trout hits milestone homer to lead Angels over Royals
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Mike Trout’s 250th home run was memorable in more ways than one.
Trout’s solo shot to left-center off traveled 473 feet and made him the sixth AL player to reach 250 homers before his 28th birthday as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3 on Saturday night.
The first-inning blast off Royals starter Jakob Junis (3-5) was also his second-longest since Statcast began measuring them in 2015 and the third-longest in the majors this season.
“I didn’t see it land. I stopped watching,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “As soon as he hit it, I knew it was gone.”
Shohei Ohtani also went deep and Griffin Canning pitched seven shutout innings as the Angels got their fourth win in five games this season against the Royals.
Ohtani’s two-run homer to right in the sixth was his second of the season. Last season’s AL Rookie of the Year missed the first 34 games following Tommy John surgery.
After going hitless in first seven at-bats, Ohtani has gone 12 for 35 with two home runs and has a six-game hitting streak.
“I’m getting better each at-bat I get. It is not 100, but getting closer and closer,” Ohtani said through a translator.
Canning (2-1) is only the second Angels starter to go at least seven innings, which is worst in the majors. The rookie right-hander retired the first 12 Royals he faced and allowed three hits with five strikeouts. Ty Buttrey worked the final 1 2/3 innings for his second save.
“I wasn’t being super tentative and let my stuff work in the zone,” he said.
After Trout’s homer, the Angels added another run in the second when Kole Calhoun led off with a double and scored on Jonathan Lucroy’s single.
Los Angeles added three in the sixth. Trout walked with one out before Ohtani clubbed a two-run shot over the right field wall for his first home run at Angels Stadium this season. Andrelton Simmons followed with a double to left and advanced to third on a throwing error. He scored on Calhoun’s sacrifice fly to center to make it 5-0.
Kansas City got on the board with three in the eighth off Taylor Cole. Whit Merrifield had a two-run double and scored on Adalberto Mondesi’s bloop single.
Lucroy, who had two hits, singled in Simmons in the eighth inning to extend the Angels’ lead to three runs.
Junis also went seven innings and yielded five runs (four earned) on six hits with six strikeouts.
“I thought he threw the ball well. He’s just not pitching with a lot of luck right now,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Junis. “Every once in a while, you will throw a fastball down the middle and they will either foul it off or pop it up. That isn’t happening. Just got burned on a couple of mistakes.”
Trout joins Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Juan Gonzalez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez as the only AL players to hit 250 or more home runs before their age 28 season.
He is also the 13th player to accomplish that milestone overall. Teammate Albert Pujols, Mel Ott, Eddie Mathews, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Andruw Jones and Giancarlo Stanton reached it while playing in the NL.
Eight of Trout’s 10 homers this season have come at home. The tape-measure shot fell 4 feet shy of his career best, which came at Coors Field off Colorado’s Chris Rusin in 2015.
Junis has allowed nine runs in the first inning 10 starts this season. Teams are hitting .333 against him in the opening frame (14 for 42), including four home runs.
Royals: Kansas City has requested release waivers on Frank Schwindel, who was designated for assignment Tuesday. Schwindel was the opening day first baseman but had just one hit in 15 at-bats in six games. There is a possibility he could be re-signed to a minor league contract.
Angels: OF Justin Upton (turf toe) is doing some throwing and hitting, but the only running he is doing is on a treadmill. He is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list near the end of the month but said that it will “be a while” before he returns.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (2-1, 3.97 ERA) has won his last two starts. He is 2-2 in seven career outings against the Angels, including a 5-1 loss on April 26 when he allowed three runs on five hits in five innings.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (4-3, 5.05 ERA) has won three of his four starts since returning from the injured list (left ankle sprain). Teams have a .268 batting average against him, which is the highest among LA’s starting staff.
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