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Speedy Mike Trout pressures Padres in Angels' 7-2 win

Mike Trout's aggressive baserunning challenges San Diego's defense, and Jered Weaver scatters three hits over seven innings in win over the Padres.

May 18, 2012|By Bill Shaikin
  • Angels outfielder Mike Trout hits a run-scoring triple during the fifth inning of the Angels' 7-2 interleague victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout hits a run-scoring triple during the fifth… (Denis Poroy / Getty Images )

SAN DIEGO — This is baseball in another dimension. It is the Mike Trout dimension. It is fast, too fast for the other men on the field.

Trout put major league outfielders on notice Friday, in the Angels' 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Play your best, and it will be a challenge to contain him. Play at less than your best, and an extra base will be lost, or two.

"I don't believe in singles," Trout said. "I'm just trying to be aggressive and make some things happen."

Trout put on quite the show here, reaching base four times and imposing his will on the bases. The Angels' winning percentage is .588 with Trout in the leadoff spot, .364 with anyone else there.

Jered Weaver scattered three hits over seven innings for the victory, a performance endangered when Trout threatened to overrun him. In the fifth inning, with Weaver on first base, Trout hit a line drive into the left field corner.

The play appeared to be a single for a slow runner, a double for a fast one, as left fielder Jesus Guzman struggled to corral the ball. Trout never let up. Weaver maintained full stride and scored, as Trout dove headfirst into third base -- a triple to left field, and without a throw at that.

"It's kind of like a dog chasing you, or running away from the cops," Weaver said.

"In my younger years, I could run a little bit. It was nice to show off a little bit of speed."

Ernesto Frieri, acquired from the Padres two weeks ago, worked the ninth inning, for what very nearly was his first major league save.

The Angels had used Scott Downs as the closer after removing Jordan Walden from that role, but Downs worked the eighth inning on Friday. The Angels had a 4-2 lead after eight innings, but they scored three times in the ninth inning, eliminating the save situation.

"Just a matchup situation," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It might change tomorrow."

Frieri has worked 52/3 innings for the Angels without giving up a run or a hit. He has walked four and struck out 12.

Trout led off the game with a walk, then stole second. In the second inning, he beat out an infield dribbler.

In the fifth, that triple into the left field corner keyed a three-run inning. Trout, Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells each drove in a run; Trumbo has 17 hits in his past 32 at-bats.

In the seventh, Trout singled to center field, and directly to Cameron Maybin. As Maybin bobbled the ball -- very briefly -- Trout charged to second base. Trout slid in headfirst, ahead of a hurried throw that sailed wide of the base.

Weaver saluted Trout for his patience, unusual on this team and for any young player. Trout has a .397 on-base percentage -- and unusual speed, given that he not only tripled to left field but slowed up for a moment to make sure Weaver had not stopped at third.

"Heads up on Trout's part," third-base coach Dino Ebel said.

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