Being a father seems to suit Mike Trout.
Trout returned to the Los Angeles lineup Tuesday night and homered in his first at-bat since the birth of his first child, Beckham Aaron Trout,to help the Angels to a 5-3 victory in the opener of a three-game series against the host Seattle Mariners.
It was Trout’s 25th career homer in Seattle, the most he’s hit at any opposing ballpark and the most by a road player at Safeco Field/T-Mobile Park since it opened in 1999.
Trout said he hasn’t gotten much sleep since the birth last Thursday afternoon but that his wife, Jessica, and baby are doing fine.
“Pretty incredible,” said Trout, who turns 29 on Friday. “A lot of emotions going into it. I didn’t really know what to expect but, once I got to see him and hold him with Jess and seeing how she was feeling, what we went through to have a child. It’s pretty amazing.”
Trout said it was difficult leaving home. He estimated he had he called his wife on FaceTime 30 times between the time he left for Seattle and the time he reached the ballpark.
“She’s a champ,” Trout said of his wife. “I don’t know If I could have went through that. How brave she was and how strong she was, it’s pretty incredible.”
The Angels also got a taste of young and old Tuesday.
Outfielder Jo Adell, the Angels’ highest-rated prospect since Trout, made his major-league debut and went 1 for 4, beating out an infield single in his first at-bat.
“More than likely he was nervous, but he handled it well, I thought,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of the 21-year-old. “You can see his speed. Getting that first hit out of the way is always good to have. That was a nice debut for him.”
Veteran first baseman Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer, the 659th of his career. That puts him one homer shy of Willie Mays for fifth place in major-league history.
It was the second consecutive game in which Pujols homered after hitting a grand slam Sunday against Houston. He’s off to a slow start at the plate, batting just .156 with five hits — three of them home runs.
“It looks like he’s on time better right now,” Maddon said. “Albert has been getting more comfortable in the box. The home runs have been hit really, really well. I’m not looking at his average. I’m looking at the quality of his at-bats and for me they are getting incrementally better.”
Los Angeles will face a tough task when trying to add to its offensive totals Wednesday against Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales (1-1, 2.53 ERA). Gonzales is 6-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 13 career starts against the Angels.
The Mariners have used a six-man rotation this season, with Gonzales getting the Opening Day start.
“I do like the six-man rotation,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team has lost four games in a row. “I think it’s been beneficial for those guys. Certainly with Marco, Yusei (Kikuchi) and Taijuan (Walker), allowing them to go a little bit deeper and also giving our young guys that extra day before they go out there again.”
Right-hander Julio Teheran is scheduled to make his debut for the Angels after missing the start of the season because of a positive test for COVID-19. Teheran, who pitched his first nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves, is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in one career start against Seattle.
–Field Level Media