– by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief
ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Trout was the first player to step up to the podium and address the media about the emotions he and his team were experiencing soon after teammate Tyler Skaggs passed away on Monday. On Wednesday, Trout continued to show leadership for the Angels by his outstanding performance on the field in the midst of his team’s tumultuous past few days.
Trout hit two home runs, including a three-run blast in the third inning to provide the Angels all the offense they would need in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
Trout’s two dingers now moves him into a tie for the American League lead with 24 on the season, a campaign that Trout and the Angels have now dedicated to Skaggs. Each member of the Angels had a white patch on the front of his jersey in memory of him.
“Yesterday was one of the toughest games I’ve ever played in a while, ever,” Trout said. “It’s good to get back in the routine of things and just go out there and get your mind off it.”
Trout and Shohei Ohtani, who batted behind Trout in the No. 3 hole, both had two hits while leadoff man Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 to make a winner of starting pitcher Jaime Barria. There was a little more normalcy surrounding the Angels on the second game after the tragedy, according to manager Brad Ausmus.
“It was less emotional,” Ausmus said. “Yesterday and Monday were so emotional. If it was that emotional again, I think these guys would be absolutely exhausted. Today was probably the first day where there was an occasional smile. But it’s still going to take time. It isn’t the type of thing that goes away quickly.”
Barria struck out eight batters in his five innings of work while four Angels relievers each pitched a scoreless inning to see out the game. Overall, Los Angeles pitching combined to strike out 16 Rangers.
“The pitchers did a good job,” Ausmus said. “Jaime did a nice job for five and every single guy that came in after him had a clean inning.”
Texas only managed four hits in the game, two coming from ninth-place hitter Tim Federowicz, including a solo home run in the fifth inning to cut Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2. Federowicz’s battery mate, Ariel Jurado, gave up six runs on seven hits in six innings of work while striking out seven.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 19 pictures in total.