The Los Angeles Angels broke out offensively against Robbie Ray and the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. They scored eight runs on 11 hits — five runs and eight hits off of Ray — with Luis Rengifo providing the majority of the spark.
For the game, Rengifo went 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, hitting two home runs — one from each side of the plate — and amassing three runs scored with four RBIs. Rengifo singled to center in the Angels’ first at-bat of the game, scoring a few batters later when Taylor Ward got both him and Shohei Ohtani home.
In his next turn at the plate, he hit a solo home run to give the Angels a 3-1 lead. And in the bottom of the sixth with the Angels leading 5-4 and runners at the corners, Rengifo hit a three-run home run off of Matthew Festa. The 8-4 lead would be enough for the Angels to stay in front, ultimately winning 8-7.
Rengifo spoke about his production after the game, discussing the two home runs and his approach throughout the game, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It feels good,” Rengifo said. “I was just up there and was trying to do my best and that was the result today. It’s a big challenge to hit two homers. I just try to fight in every at-bat.”
Starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen also gave his thoughts on Rengifo’s performance, and his entire 2022 breakout campaign. On Friday, Lorenzen tossed 5.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six in his second start back from injury.
“He wasn’t on the team to start the season, but he’s been a centerpiece for us,” said right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who allowed three runs over five innings and picked up the win. “It’s a great story, and to see him develop and show up ready to play every day, it’s been fun to watch.”
Notably, the Angels also got a solo home run from Mike Trout, his eighth home run in 10 games. A Matt Duffy RBI single accounts for the eighth run. And although the Angels nearly lost an 8-4 advantage, Ryan Tepera held firm to secure the save in the ninth inning.
On the season, Rengifo is slashing .275/.305/.443 for an OPS of .748. He has 22 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 44 RBIs, and six stolen bases, all of which are career-bests.
Phil Nevin: MVP conversation would be different with healthy Trout
Trout’s insane home run stretch — eight in 10 games — caused Angels interim manager Phil Nevin to reflect on what could have been had Trout not missed five weeks of the season with a back injury.
Nevin believes that Trout would be directly involved in this year’s MVP race, alongside Aaron Judge and Angels teammate Shohei Ohtani, had he been able to play enough games.