The Los Angeles Angels powered their way to another blowout win on Tuesday, taking the second game of the series by a score of 12-0 with third baseman Anthony Rendon making a little bit of odd baseball history in the eighth inning.
Reid Detmers threw the 12th no-hitter in franchise history, the offense had 18 hits, eight of those went for extra bases, and Mike Trout had another three-hit night which raised his on-base plus slugging to 1.183.
But the highlight catching everyone’s eye is Rendon’s home run off of Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips, who was eating some innings on the mound in a game already out of reach. Rendon, a right-handed hitter, stepped into the left-hander’s box and smoked a 54 mph slider over the right-field wall.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 11, 2022
Before the at-bat, Rendon turned some heads in the Angels dugout when he was preparing to hit, including bench coach Mike Gallego, via Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times:
“I’m standing there, and all of a sudden, [coach Mike Gallego] says, ‘He has a different helmet on,’” Maddon said. “I thought was great theater. It was the perfect time to pull it off. I mean baseball is looking for moments like that. The crowd responded properly. No disrespect to the other side.”
It was only the third time in MLB history that a non-switch hitter has hit a home run from the opposite side of the plate, and the first since Ji-Man Choi of the Rays in 2020.
Rendon’s .206 batting average and .687 OPS on the season aren’t where he expects to be, but his batted-ball profile has improved recently and his presence has been felt in ways in ways other than on-field numbers.
Rendon’s leadership is showing its value
Rendon made his MLB debut with the Washington Nationals as a 22-year-old in 2013, and since then he developed into one of the most important figures in the history of their franchise.
After winning the World Series, he signed with the Angels to a seven-year, $245 million contract and so far the returns have been somewhat mixed. In 2020, he continued to perform at an MVP-level before struggling with injuries in 2021.
Now in 2022, he has had somewhat of a rebound from 2021, but he also wants his value to extend more off the field. Rendon is trying to be a leader for the Angels, who have many young players, and wants to instill a winning mentality into all the players.
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