Mike Trout sparks Angels in 9-2 victory over Cubs

Mike Trout
Angels center fielder Mike Trout can’t come up with a double by Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras in the first inning. Trout kicked the ball away and Contreras scored on the error.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

The Angels defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-2 on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Angels are 8-3-1 in Cactus League play.

AT THE PLATE: With the Angels trailing by two runs in the second inning, Mike Trout jumped on the first pitch thrown by reliever Mario Meza and hit a three-run home run to center field. He finished two for three with one strikeout. … Right fielder Kole Calhoun hit the ball to all fields in three at-bats, including a leadoff home run to center field in the fifth inning. … Peter Bourjos, who is competing with Jarrett Parker and an injured Michael Hermosillo for the Angels’ fourth outfield job, was two for three, including a triple. He is 10 for 19 with eight runs batted in. … The Angels had 15 hits.

ON THE MOUND: Starter Tyler Skaggs has been working on a changeup, hoping it will help improve his in-game sequencing. “I threw some really good ones today,” said Skaggs, who threw 33 of 50 pitches for strikes, gave up four hits and one earned run, and struck out four batters in three innings. “They got some swings and misses. It’s always going to be a work in progress. Honestly, I’m a fastball-curveball guy. The changeup is always going to be a third pitch for me, but I keep trying to throw as many reps as possible.” … Luke Bard, Cody Allen, Noe Ramirez and Taylor Cole each threw one inning. Bard struck out two batters, Allen walked one, and Cole and Ramirez each worked around one base hit. … Left-hander Dillon Peters gave up two hits and struck out one batter in two innings.

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EXTRA BASES: Trout cut toward the outfield wall on a fly ball to right-center field by catcher Willson Contreras in the first inning and could not make a play. Trout kicked the ball away, allowing Contreras to advance home on a two-run double. Trout was charged with an error. “I thought the ball was hit better than it was and I tried taking my eye off it,” he said. “And when I took my eye off it, I looked right back up into the sun and I saw more than one baseball. But then I saw it and I missed it, and Kole didn’t stop it, I guess. I was going to pass it to him. It was just one of those ones where I broke back, took my eye off and when I went to go look I looked straight into the sun. It’s obviously bright.”

UP NEXT: The Angels will play the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale on Wednesday at noon PST. Right-hander Matt Harvey will make his first Cactus League start for the Angels. TV: FS West. Radio: 830.