When Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani step to the plate, fans anticipate a show.
A single that finds its way into a gap, a long double or triple that looks as if it might go the distance, a home run that off the bat sounds like it’s gone. There’s no mistaking what the two are capable of achieving.
It’s why Trout has earned three American League most-valuable-player awards and Ohtani is in the running for a second consecutive honor this season.
On Monday night at Angel Stadium in the Angels’ 10-0 rout of the Detroit Tigers, fans got to see more highlight plays.
Of the 10 runs, the two stars combined to score six. Each picked up three hits on the night, with Ohtani going deep twice and Trout adding a home run.
“They hit ’em, it’s a little different,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.
Trout and Ohtani scored the first two runs of a game in which the Angels beat up on their lower-in–the-standings AL opponent — the Tigers fell to 51-84, and the Angels improved to 59-76. In the first inning, Trout hit a single and Ohtani knocked a double. Trout scored on Luis Rengifo’s single, and Ohtani came home on Taylor Ward’s groundout.
In the third inning, Trout hit a double and was driven in on Ohtani’s 31st home run of the season. Trout joined Ohtani’s home run party in his next at-bat, in the fifth inning, when he launched his 30th home run of the year.
Fans got a third round of fireworks in the seventh inning when Ohtani connected for his second home run of the game.
“Special baseball player that is over there,” Trout said looking toward Ohtani’s locker after the game. “It’s going to be a crazy stretch these next [27 games]. It’s gonna be fun to watch.”
Trout’s blast secured his first 30-home run season since 2019, when he belted 45 homers on the way to his third AL MVP award.
Asked whether he feels like he’s back to where he was before he was sidelined because of a back injury this season, Trout said: “Just being out there with the guys and getting at-bats every day, I think that’s been big for me, but I feel fine. I feel great.”
That shot also solidified Trout and Ohtani’s first season together in which they both hit 30 home runs.
Ohtani’s seventh-inning blast gave him his 12th career multi-home run game. Six have happened this season.
“Overall, I’ve been able to look at the pitches and swing the bat pretty well, and I’d like to continue what I’ve been doing,” Ohtani said through a team representative.
Also starring Monday was Angels left-handed starter José Suarez (6-6), who scattered three hits, walked one and struck out seven over seven innings. Relievers Andrew Wantz and Zack Weiss finished off the final two innings and preserved the shutout.
Detroit rookie utility player Kody Clemens, son of former star pitcher Roger Clemens, threw an inning of relief for the Tigers with the game out of reach and struck out Ohtani looking with a 68-mph pitch.
“I’m just trying to get outs, and for it to come like that is obviously super cool,” Clemens, 26, said of fanning Ohtani in the eighth inning. “He’s the best player in baseball, so it’s a pretty cool moment for me.”
Said Ohtani with a chuckle: “It was a wonderful pitch.”
Mickey Moniak update
Mickey Moniak has been on the Angels’ injured list since early August, when he fractured his left middle finger while attempting a bunt in a game against the Mariners in Seattle.
The outfielder’s return has been incumbent on his pain tolerance.
“All the defensive work’s fine. He’s able to play defense 100%,” Nevin said of Moniak’s progress. “It’s just gonna be … if he hits one off his finger, it’s gonna rattle him a little bit. It’s not gonna feel good.”
Moniak has been taking batting practice. Starting Tuesday, he will begin a rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Salt Lake.