SEATTLE (AP) — Mike Trout had a rather miserable afternoon at the plate until the Seattle Mariners made the mistakes of pitching to him in extra innings.
The three-time MVP hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Saturday in the opening game of a doubleheader.
Trout hit his 50th career homer against Seattle and 31st at T-Mobile Park on a 1-1 pitch from Diego Castillo (3-1). Trout had struck out three times earlier in the game. Instead of putting him base with an intentional walk, Trout hit his 19th long ball of the season.
“You can’t go up to the box and think that. I’m thinking hit the whole time and then if they tell you to go to first base you go to first base,” Trout said “You can’t put that mentality or that comment in your head. Then you’re up there second guessing.”
Seattle’s bullpen had retired 13 straight batters before Trout’s homer. Castillo had not allowed a run in his past nine appearances. And Shohei Ohtani waited on deck.
All that played into the decision of Seattle manager Scott Servais to pitch to Trout.
“Those are decisions you have to make. I get paid to make those decisions. I need to be right more than I’m wrong,” Servais said. “But I’ve got to give him credit. He hit the ball out of the ballpark. He just didn’t get a hit.”
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said he thought the pitch from Castillo was in a good location. Trout is just that talented.
“He’s a pretty darn good reliever. He made some good pitches before that,” Nevin said. “It was actually a pretty good pitch. Mike just went out and got it.”
Raisel Iglesias (2-4) pitched a perfect ninth inning for the Angels and José Quijada worked the 10th to earn the save.