Mike Trout's first major-league home run helped the Angels defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 9-3, on Sunday at steamy Camden Yards, keeping their pennant hopes from fading further.
The Angels now have won 11 of their past 12 series.
Firsts. A guy in an Angels cap caught Trout's home run ball and then, it appeared, agreed to give it up to Camden Yards officials (perhaps in exchange for some memorabilia). There should be no shortage of people to bring the ball back to nearby New Jersey as Trout had at least a dozen friends and relatives from his home state on hand. The numbers suggest Trout has struggled offensively, but he's gotten all the firsts out of the way, which should help ease his transition to the majors.
By the way, according to ESPN Stats and Info, the ball traveled 414 feet. It went about 15 rows deep in left-center.
Power. For a team that makes a lot of noise about its aggressive base running, the Angels seem awfully reliant on the home run in the past couple of months. They were in a tense battle with the last-place Orioles before Trout's blast broke it open and Torii Hunter's two-run shot made it a laugher.
Command. Who cares that Tyler Chatwood only allowed six hits in seven innings or struck out five. The number that stands out is zero. Chatwood didn't allow a single walk, the thing that often has been his undoing when he has struggled this season.
Callaspo's instincts. He has had a good season at the plate and he has made some nice plays in the field, but Alberto Callaspo has had an awful time running the bases. It didn't end up mattering after Trout's blast, but Callaspo could have jogged into third on Mark Trumbo's deep fly ball with nobody out. He didn't bother to tag up. Mike Scioscia didn't appear pleased.
Trumbo's dive. He added an extra run with a nice opposite-field hit in the ninth inning, but he looked more than a little awkward while oversliding the bag going for a double. He beat the throw, but decided to slide too late. Trumbo's a home-run hitter, so maybe he hasn't had a lot of practice sliding.
Rumor. One trade rumor has suggested the Angels might have some interest in trading for Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds. Other than the fact the Angels have gotten scant power from their third basemen, in what universe does that make sense? Reynolds already has struck out 111 times and he's batting .222.