Mike Trout hit two prodigious solo home runs Wednesday night, including a sixth-inning blast to center field that traveled an estimated 465 feet, the second-longest of the Angels center fielder’s career and a homer Manager Mike Scioscia described as “a monster.”
But it was one of the smallest players on the field, 5-foot-8, 185-pound second baseman Johnny Giavotella, who came up with the biggest hit for the Angels.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Giavotella rolled a run-scoring single to left field off closer John Axford to snap a tie score and push the Angels to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field, giving the Angels their fifth straight win and ninth win in 10 games.
“He kind of hung a 2-and-2 curveball up there, I was able to put a barrel on it and it got through the six-hole,” Giavotella said. “I’m looking to put the ball in play hard up the middle. That’s always my strategy, my approach at the plate.”
That Giavotella delivered in the clutch was not surprising. In “late-and-close situations” this season, Giavotella is 20 for 45 for a .444 average.
“Johnny has done it time in and time out,” Scioscia said. “He puts the ball in play. He has a short little stroke. He’s going to make contact there. He’s been finding holes, and he found a big one tonight.”
Whereas some players succumb to the pressure of such situations, Giavotella seems to thrive on it.
“I expect that out of myself, I expect to come through for the team,” Giavotella said. “I like to help the team any way I can. For me, to come up in those situations is what I live for. I want to be up there, and I want to be up there for my team.”