Trout's catch highlights Halos' rout of O's

Trout's catch highlights Halos' rout of O's

Trout's catch highlights Halos' rout of O's
BALTIMORE -- Yeah, Jered Weaver pitched well and the offense erupted, scoring 11 runs on 12 hits in the first five innings to lead the Angels to their 13th victory in their past 17 games.

But did you see that catch?

The catch was made by -- who else? -- Mike Trout. It came in the first inning, before the Angels used a six-run fourth to run away from the Orioles in a 13-1 victory at Camden Yards on Wednesday night, but it was all everyone could talk about.

"That was pretty cool to watch," Weaver said. "It was awesome."

Trout darted back on what seemed to be a no-doubter by O's shortstop J.J. Hardy, leaping high enough to put his left arm well over the sign in right-center field and coming back with a snow-cone catch that might be the best play of the year so far.

"It reminded me of a young Torii Hunter," manager Mike Scioscia said, before catching himself: "I should rephrase that -- it reminded me of Torii Hunter."

Hunter, confined to right field at age 36, remembers when he used to do things like that.

"Just watching him go up and make that catch, I got chills," Hunter said. "I was fired up and I was high-fiving, we elbowed each other, we did everything. I felt like I caught the ball, because I just remember myself doing that. To see Trout do that, a guy that comes and talks to me about a lot of different things, it's awesome. It's awesome. Tears almost came down my face. But I'm a man -- I don't cry."

Instead, Hunter beamed, Trout pumped his fist, the crowd of 18,055 grew silent and Weaver doffed his cap.

After that, things got awfully easy for the Angels.

One night after setting a new season high in homers (four) and hits (17), the Angels clobbered Jason Hammel, who came in with a 2.61 ERA and exited after giving up eight runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Trout tied his career high with four hits -- one of which was an RBI single on a ball that traveled only a couple of feet -- and raised his American League-leading batting average to .344. Hunter hit a solo homer and scored four runs as part of his three-hit night. Kendrys Morales went 3-for-5 with four RBIs. And Albert Pujols drew three walks.

Nursing a 3-1 lead heading into the fourth, the Angels got seven hits and sent 11 men to the plate in a six-run inning that essentially put the game out of reach.

The top of the sixth marked the first time in 20 innings that the Angels have been retired in order.

"Obviously, you've got to give Anaheim credit," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They're swinging the bats pretty well -- at least they have been these two games. Every mistake we made, they were on."

"Not only are we driving the ball out of the park with our slugging percentage," Scioscia added, "but we're running the bases well, we're hitting with runners in scoring position better."

Making his second start since coming off the disabled list with a lower-back strain, Weaver threw 96 pitches and exited after 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run on six hits and one walk while striking out six to move to 8-1 with a 2.31 ERA on the year.

Weaver's command was off in the first two frames, but he made an adjustment entering the third -- staying over the rubber a little longer in his delivery -- and it smoothed things out for the rest of the game.

With the win, the Angels are a season-best nine games above .500, lead the Majors with a 36-19 record since April 28 -- the date of Trout's callup -- and have won 13 of their last 14 road games for the first time since 1995.

They began the season 6-14. Now, they have the third-best record in the AL.

"It obviously took us a little while to get going," Weaver said, "but I think we're showing everybody now what we're capable of doing. There's too much talent in this room to not get on a good role. We've been playing some good baseball with the help of Trout and those young guys doing a good job for us. It takes a lot of pressure off everybody else."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.