Trout hits another birthday HR in Angels’ 8-4 win over O’s
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout was thrilled when the fans in the Angel Stadium outfield seats serenaded him with a birthday song in the first inning.
A few minutes later, Trout gave them quite a present.
Trout homered on his birthday for the third time in his career, and Chris Iannetta delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the Los Angeles Angels’ 8-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.
Trout celebrated his 24th birthday by going 2 for 3 with two walks and scoring two runs, but he also added another unique moment to his superlative career.
The reigning AL MVP hit his major league-leading 33rd homer off Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman, blasting it to the fake rock pile beyond left-center.
Trout also homered on his birthday in 2012 and 2013, becoming the first player in major league history to hit three birthday homers before even turning 25.
“I think that gave me the chills,” Trout said of the first-inning chorus from the stands. “To have fans sing me ‘Happy Birthday,’ it means a lot. It’s huge.”
Trout’s 131st career homer was his first of August and his first in six games, ending a 1-for-20 slump for the four-time All-Star. Only Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott and Ken Griffey Jr. hit more homers before their 24th birthday in major league history.
Pinch-hitter C.J. Cron hit a two-run homer in the seventh for the Angels, who trimmed Houston’s lead in the AL West to 1 1-2 games with their third win in four games following a six-game skid.
David Murphy, Johnny Giavotella and David DeJesus all drove in runs for the Angels, but Iannetta boosted his average to .193 by coming through with a two-out, two-strike double off the wall in the sixth. He connected on the 98th pitch by Gausman (2-3), who gave up nine hits and six runs.
“It’s been a rough year, but I was finally able to barrel one up, and it felt really good,” Iannetta said. “This was a really good team win with a lot of contributions from everybody.”
Matt Wieters and Jonathan Schoop homered for the Orioles, who blew a 4-3 lead in the sixth for their third loss in five games.
“It seemed like every time we took the lead, I went out there and didn’t put up a scoreless inning,” Gausman said. “And when you struggle against the bottom half of the lineup like I did, eventually it’s going to hurt you.”
Rookie Andrew Heaney had his worst start for Los Angeles, yielding season-highs of 10 hits and four runs while getting chased in the sixth. The left-hander had won five of his first seven starts since joining the Angels’ rotation in late June, never allowing more than two runs.
Schoop hit a two-run homer in the fourth, but Los Angeles evened it later in the inning with Murphy’s first RBI for the Angels and Giavotella’s tying double.
Wieters connected in the sixth for his fifth homer, but Fernando Salas (2-1) stranded two Baltimore runners in scoring position by striking out Nolan Reimold.
“We didn’t pitch very well out of the bullpen,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. “There’s a game there to be won, and that’s what’s frustrating. They had some good at-bats and they found some holes. They’re a good team that’s having a good year, and we have to upgrade our level a little bit if we’re going to stay with them.”
DeJesus added an RBI single after Iannetta’s clutch drive, improving to 2 for 22 with his new team.
Junior Lake went 1 for 4 with a sixth-inning double in his debut with the Orioles, who acquired the outfielder from the Cubs last month. Baltimore recalled him from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, designating Travis Snider for assignment.
Cron’s homer went an estimated 456 feet on reliever Brad Brach’s first pitch. It was the Angels’ first pinch-hit homer of the season and their first since David Freese connected on July 5, 2014.
Orioles: LHP Chris Tillman will return from resting his sore left ankle either Sunday or Monday.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver is expected to return Sunday. He has been out since June 21 with inflammation in his left hip.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (8-7, 4.04 ERA) looks to rebound from a loss to Detroit.
Angels: Garrett Richards (11-8, 3.46 ERA) goes after his first career victory over Baltimore in his eighth appearance.