We have a first so far on the Mike Trout home run daily, getting to write about a game in which Trout hit not one, but two home runs, including a grand slam to boot.
The random number generator led us to September 17, 2015, the opener of a four-game series at Target Field against the Twins. This was a battle between the top two teams on the outside looking in in the American League postseason race, with the Twins (75-70) 1 game out of playoff position and the Angels (73-72) just behind them at 3 games back.
“It’s September,” Trout told reporters, from Jeff Fletcher’s game recap in the Orange County Register. “We have to go now. I think we have (16) games left. Every one we play is going to be big. We need to win them all.”
This was a high-scoring affair with 19 runs scored and six home runs. Trout hit two of them.
Minnesota struck first with five runs in the first inning against Hector Santiago, who was pulled before the frame ended. But the Angels came right back with a six-run second, capped by a grand slam by Trout against reliever A.J. Achter.
The starting pitchers in this game (Santiago for the Angels, Tommy Milone for the Twins) combined to record six outs. Another Twins reliever, Ryan O’Rourke, served up a line drive solo home run to Trout in the sixth inning.
The home runs gave Trout 38 on the season, a new career high and at the time ranked fourth in the AL and sixth in the majors, four behind co-leaders Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis. Trout finished this night with 136 career home runs.
Trout also walked three times and scored three runs, in addition to driving in five. The Angels won, 11-8.