Trout, Angels aim to out-hit Orioles again

Field Level Media

May 11, 2019 at 7:53 am.

Mike Trout is starting to come out of a recent slump.

The two-time American League MVP homered and helped the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-3 victory at Baltimore on Friday. If Trout continues heating up, that could be bad news for the Orioles when the teams meet again on Saturday.

Trout’s average had slipped to .280 in the middle of the week after it was .366 through April 17. However, the Los Angeles Times reported that he had been putting in extra work, knew what the problem was and how to work around it.

So far, Trout seems to be correct. He went 1-for-2 in the Angels’ Thursday win at Detroit, then went 2-for-4 with the homer and three RBIs in the in the series opener at Camden Yards on Friday.

Trout hit a two-run homer that just made it over the glove of Stevie Wilkerson in left-center, and the Angels star now is batting .292. It was the ninth home run Trout has hit in Baltimore in just 26 career games.

After the Angels’ Wednesday loss to the Tigers, when Trout went 0-for-4, he told the Times he was ready to bust out of his 10-for-46 (.217) skid.

“My setup is not right, my front side is flying open,” Trout told the paper. “It’s an easy fix.”

The Angels held Albert Pujols out of the lineup Friday one day after he became the third player in history to reach 2,000 RBIs. Plus, Zack Cozart (.132) also was out. He had a hit in each of the three games in Detroit after coming off the injured list following his recovery from a neck strain.

Los Angeles manager Brad Ausmus told the media Friday that Cozart would play on Saturday against Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy.

Matt Harvey (1-3, 6.94 ERA) will make his first career appearance against the Orioles when he starts for the Angels on Saturday. The righty will go up against Bundy (1-4, 5.30), who threw 7 1/3 shutout innings against Tampa Bay on May 4 and earned his first win.

Bundy is 1-1 with a 7.82 ERA in three games against the Angels, two of which were starts.

The Orioles have dropped three in a row since winning the opener of a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox on Monday. Trout’s homer off starter Dan Straily and a five-run fifth inning did in the Orioles on Friday.

Baltimore is still trying to find consistent starting pitching. The rotation has done better at times in the past five games — starting with Bundy’s strong performance against the Rays — but Straily allowed six runs on five hits in just 4 1/3 innings against the Angels.

The Orioles are going to need some good work from the starters because they are scheduled to play 20 consecutive days, a stretch that began Friday. Manager Brandon Hyde told the media Friday that if one starter does well, the next will want to help.

“If a guy goes out and gives six or seven innings the night before, you want to do the same thing the next night or better,” Hyde said. “That’s what a winning environment is. That’s what we’re hoping for is that guys try to outdo each other.”

The Baltimore offense showed some signs of life in the Friday loss. Trey Mancini hit his seventh homer and Chris Davis connected for his fourth. After beginning the season hitless in his first 10 games, Davis has his average up to .193 — not bad for him considering he batted .168 last year.