Angels & Rays Both Discuss Greatness Of Mike Trout After Go-Ahead Homer In Eighth Inning
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Tampa Bay Rays
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have leaned on Mike Trout heavily over the last 14 seasons, and he has continued to deliver for them when they need it most. On Sunday against the Boston Red Sox, Trout was frustrated when he had the opportunity to give the Halos the lead in the late innings and failed to do so. He didn’t let the same moment pass on Monday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

In the eighth inning with the Rays leading the Angels 1-0 and Anthony Rendon standing on second base, Trout roped a hanging breaking ball 420 feet to deep left field at an exit velocity of 111.6 mph. He gave the Angels the lead and started a five-run rally that would ensure their 7-3 victory in Florida. The win puts them back at .500 — 8-8 — on the season with two more games against the Rays.

Trout’s seventh home run of the season is tied for the Major League lead with Marcell Ozuna of the Atlanta Braves and Tyler O’Neill of the Boston Red Sox. His 1.072 OPS ranks ninth in the Majors and fourth in the American League. And the Rays, who have already seen Trout in four games this season, had plenty to say about him.

Rays manager Kevin Cash explained the game plan surrounding Trout, but that sometimes a player of his caliber is not going to have an effective way to game plan against, according to Rhett Bollinger of

“Keep the guys off base in front of him, I think, is what we learned last series,” Cash said. “That’s easier said than done. He’s good. He’s going to get his hits. You just hope the damage comes when maybe there’s nobody on base. But Mike Trout’s too talented to really hold down.”

Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval, who had arguably his best start of the season with one earned run over five innings, also was in awe of Trout and what he can do in the biggest moments.

“It’s awesome,” Sandoval said. “You can’t describe what it’s like. But when Mike is up there at-bat with runners in scoring position in crunch time, you always feel good when No. 27 is up there.”

Trout has three more games to do damage against the Rays at Tropicana Field, something he has made a habit of over the years. He has the highest OPS (1.109) at Tropicana Field of any player in the ballpark’s history with at least 100 plate appearances.

Rays-Angels probables

This is the Angels first four-game series of the 2024 MLB season, meaning they still have three games to go in Tampa Bay before continuing their long road trip against the Cincinnati Reds. Here are the probable starters for the remaining three games against the Rays.

Tuesday, April 16 (3:50 p.m. PST): Jose Soriano vs. Aaron Civale
Wednesday, April 17 (3:50 p.m. PST): Reid Detmers vs. Zack Littell
Thursday, April 18 (10:10 a.m. PST): Griffin Canning vs. Ryan Pepiot

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