Angels star finishes 4-for-4 with two HRs, five RBIs
By David Adler
ANAHEIM -- Not often does one see curtain calls at Angel Stadium. On Sunday, the acclaimed best baseball player in the world commanded one.
With a crowd of 38,539 roaring "MVP!" Mike Trout emerged from the Angels dugout and raised his helmet high in the air after his sixth-inning grand slam broke open the Angels' 13-7 win over the Rangers -- the encore to his encores, as his legend in Anaheim, somehow, keeps growing.
"It was pretty special," Trout said. "Our fans are great here. We play and try to bring excitement to the fans. It's pretty special, for sure."
Trout said it was his second curtain call, the first one coming after his cycle on May 22, 2013.
"Our fans understand what they're looking at," manager Mike Scioscia said. "This guy's a special player, a special talent. And when Mike does something special like that, although it doesn't happen very often out here, I think it's good to tip your cap and acknowledge them, and he did."
This one came after his Major League-leading 31st home run -- his third career grand slam -- off a reliever brought into the game specifically to face him.
Stepping to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth, and the Angels leading, 4-2, Trout worked a full count against Texas' Spencer Patton. He fouled off one fastball. He fouled off another. Then Patton threw him a third, and it ran low, over the plate.
Throwing Trout a low fastball when you have nowhere to put him, and he knows it's coming, is a big mistake.
"Just looking for a fastball," Trout said. "Patton was throwing a fastball that kind of got on you at the top of the zone a little bit. I was just trying to get on top and got a pitch down, hit it out."
Trout destroyed the 93-mph offering deep to right-center field, into the seats -- and, almost unbelievably, into the "Trout Net," a two-foot-diameter net fans have started bringing to games. Trout and right fielder Kole Calhoun had been trying, and failing, to throw baseballs in the net for the past two games. Naturally, it was Calhoun who notified Trout what he'd done when he got back to the dugout.
After the game, a reporter asked Trout about finding the net. Trout started laughing.
The grand slam wasn't Trout's first homer of the game -- his solo shot in the first, his 30th of the year in the Angels' 97th game, made him the fastest player to reach 30 home runs in a season in Angels history. He's also only the 14th Major Leaguer with three 30-homer campaigns before his age-24 season.
Trout finished 4-for-4. He added a walk, reaching base in all five plate appearances. He scored three times and drove in five, the first Angel with four hits, three runs and five RBIs in a game since Garret Anderson in 2007. His four hits and five RBIs matched career highs. The multi-home run game was his fourth of the season and the seventh of his career.
"Of course, Mike was kind of leading the charge," Scioscia said.
David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.