Mike Trout will not be looking to set a major league record on Wednesday afternoon when the visiting Los Angeles Angels and the Cleveland Guardians finish their three-game series.
Trout had homered in seven consecutive games going into the Tuesday contest against the Guardians, but he went homerless in the Angels’ 3-1 loss, ending the streak. Trout finished 0-for-3 with a walk and must settle for being one of nine players in major league history to hit homers in seven straight games.
Three of the previous eight — Dale Long (Pittsburgh Pirates, 1956), Don Mattingly (New York Yankees, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (Seattle Mariners, 1993) — went on to hit a homer in an eighth consecutive game. Their shared record is safe for now.
Despite missing out on joining Long, Mattingly and Griffey in the record books, Trout remains hot at the plate.
Even though he missed 41 games this season (30 of those while on the injured list at midseason), his 35 home runs rank second in the American League. Trout already has his fifth-highest total for a season, and he has 20 games remaining.
His career high is 45, set in 2019.
Trout has been particularly good since returning from the IL on Aug. 19 after recovering from a back ailment. He is hitting .302 (26-for-86) with 11 homers, 18 RBIs and a 1.083 OPS in 22 games after rejoining the roster.
He said the home run streak was just a byproduct of good at-bats.
“I feel like I’ve just been getting good pitches to hit, and I’m putting good swings on them and they’re going out,” Trout said. “It felt good. I’m going up there ready to hit, and whatever happens, happens.”
Trout also said he wasn’t thinking about the streak when he came to the plate.
“It just happens,” Trout said. “I just let it go. Try to have a good at-bat and get a good pitch to hit. I think about it after it happens, like you realize (the streak) is still going. But other than that, I don’t think about it.”
Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (5-9, 2.98 ERA) will make his 24th start of the season for the Angels (61-81) on Wednesday, hoping to continue his recent stretch of impressive performances. He has not given up more than two earned runs in seven consecutive starts, compiling a 1.67 ERA during that span.
He is 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA in three career starts against Cleveland, including a victory this year as he shut out the Guardians on two hits over seven innings on April 26. Sandoval fanned nine and walked one in that contest.
Cal Quantrill (12-5, 3.50 ERA), who will start for Cleveland, has been just as sharp on the mound as Sandoval of late. Quantrill hasn’t lost since July 5, going 8-0 with a 3.03 ERA in his past 12 starts.
He has been particularly good, if not also lucky, in Cleveland. Since joining the Guardians (75-55) in a trade from the Padres on Aug. 31, 2020, Quantrill has never lost a home start, going 12-0 in 30 starts.
“I do enjoy pitching here. I think we have a good routine here,” Quantrill said. “There’s probably a certain amount of randomness to it, but I enjoy pitching here. I enjoy the process to get ready to pitch here, even an 11:30 (a.m.) game.”
Quantrill is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Angels, including a loss on April 28 this season, when he yielded three runs, one earned, in six innings.
–Field Level Media