Before the Angels’ final home game of 2022, stadium host Mandi Ortiz asked two young fans what they wanted to see during the game.
Their answer: Mike Trout hitting a home run.
In the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers, in front of an announced crowd of 26,041, Trout delivered.
The slugger crushed his 39th home run of the season off of Tyson Miller’s 2-and-2 curveball, which Miller threw right down the middle.
Trout jumped on the pitch and launched it 409 feet to its typical landing spot, over the center-field wall.
“It feels good,” Trout said of the shot. “Been playing good ball lately and it’s good to end the homestand of the year in front of the fans with a win.”
The solo home run propelled the Angels to a seven-run lead and gave him the title of most home runs against the Rangers since they moved to Texas, with 44. Reggie Jackson previously held the record.
“I mean, he’s one away from 40 and missed a big chunk of the season. He looks good,” interim manager Phil Nevin said of Trout.
Since coming back from the injured list Aug. 19, after recovering from a back injury, Trout has not missed a beat.
In his last 37 games — including Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Rangers — Trout has 15 home runs, 28 RBIs, 44 hits and 29 runs.
His 39 home runs is second in the American League, fourth in baseball. New York Yankee Aaron Judge leads baseball with 61 home runs, and before the New York Mets played on Sunday Pete Alonso was third with 40.
Asked whether he thinks about what his offensive numbers could have been without that month-long IL stint, Trout said, “I try not to think about it. I just tried to finish the season strong when I came back and I got three more games left, so it’s going in the right direction.”
In the Angels’ six-run first inning, Trout also got the team’s first hit of the game, a single that bounced around the infield grass.
He scored on Taylor Ward’s single for the first run of the game.
The first inning also included the Rangers walking in an Angels run, Livan Soto driving in two with a double and David Fletcher driving in two with a single.
The Rangers scored three runs in the fifth inning, with two coming on a home run by Corey Seager off Angels starter Tucker Davidson.
Davidson pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up the three earned runs and three hits with five walks. He struck out three.
With the win, the Angels swept both teams they played in their six-game homestand.
The Angels still have a three-game series in Oakland, but finished up with a home record of 40-41.
“It wasn’t good enough. We’re not where we wanted to be,” Trout said when asked of the home record. “But the guys didn’t put our heads down. We’re trying to finish strong.”