March 20, 2024

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Easy as 1, 2, 3; Angels Blast 3 Consecutive Homers

3 min read
Easy as 1, 2, 3; Angels Blast 3 Consecutive Homers

The Angels got the boost they needed Sunday thanks to yet another power performance from Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. It was like eating comfort food and watching a favorite movie all in one.

Trout and Ohtani each hit a solo home run to give the Angels three in a row and propel them to a 4-3 victory over the Royals at Angel Stadium after Taylor Ward ignited the spark in the sixth inning with a leadoff home run to left.

For the first time since June 8, 2019, the Angels overcame a 2-1 deficit to take the lead at 4-2 after hitting back-to-back home runs. The trio’s first strike that day came from Tommy La Stella. The following couple? Trout and Ohtani.

Trout has now hit a long ball in back-to-back games after going 10 games without doing so. Before hitting a shot into the seats in right-center, Ohtani had hit just one home run in his previous 11 games.

His third of the year, Ward’s home run was his first in 17 games. Jordan Lyles, a right-handed pitcher for the Royals, gave up all three of the home runs but was then done for the day. Over his first five innings, Lyles had only surrendered one additional run and one hit.

For the first time, the group passed around the team’s two-week-old samurai warrior helmet that was used to celebrate home runs.

“That was the first time I put the hat on a guy that hit a homer, but it was cool because (Ward) gave it to me, then I gave it to Sho,” Trout said.

After a difficult morning when it was revealed that talented rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe would miss 4-6 months due to a labrum injury in his left shoulder, the sun-kissed crowd only got louder during the inning. There was plenty to cheer about.

In the depressed pregame clubhouse, Trout not only spent time motivating O’Hoppe but also advised Ward to anticipate a special performance on Sunday.

“I went up to him before the game and told him he was going to have a big day, and he sure did,” Trout said.

Regarding O’Hoppe, Trout discussed his own experiences recovering from injuries.

“Just trying to keep it positive,” Trout said. “Just a small hiccup in the journey. Everything he did was correct. Just freaky things do happen occasionally.”

O’Hoppe’s replacement as catcher, Chad Wallach, did his part by helping left-hander Reid Detmers turn around a shaky start into a strong outing. The Royals’ 11-8 loss on Saturday was a result of a bullpen collapse, and it was this bullpen that put the finishing touches on Sunday’s triumph.

José Quijada, a left-handed pitcher for the Angels, lost on Saturday after giving up five runs in the ninth inning. On Sunday, Carlos Estévez made a comeback and recorded his third save with a perfect ninth inning.

“Games like [Saturday] night are going to leave a little sour taste in your mouth, but winning today helps,” manager Phil Nevin said. “In any case for me, you get to leave here early. I will be able to visit my grandchildren.”

Ward could only participate in a portion of the festivities, whereas Trout was able to receive the samurai warrior helmet and pass it on. He said he was in the bathroom when Ohtani went deep and handed the helmet to Trout.

However, it had no effect on his excitement at the time.

“We’ve just got to keep doing our thing out there,” said Ward, whose previous four games saw him go 1-for-12. “I’ve been attempting to improve my tardiness because I believe I have been doing so frequently. … I just keep pounding that [thought] into my head because I’m on time.”

After being given the day off in Friday’s series opener, Trout smashed two home runs in back-to-back games.

“I think it was good,” Trout said. “I entered and went through my motions around the sixth inning. [Nevin] described the scenarios to me, saying that if they occurred, I would hit and if not, I would take the day off.’ Reset days are beneficial, especially after a flight that lasts for five and a half hours.”

Reference: www.mlb.com

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