It was a career night (so far, at least) in a career that already has produced so many nights.
Mike Trout set personal bests with five hits and 11 total bases in a game during which the result — an 11-4 Angels victory — was an addendum.
“It’s always fun to play here and against the Yankees,” said Trout, who also matched a career high with four extra-base hits. “I see the ball good.”
His night was a celebration of his strength (a 419-foot home run), his swing (one of his three doubles reached 111 mph) and his speed (his final hit was an infield single).
Almost afterthoughts were Trout’s four runs batted in and three runs scored as the Angels went from leading 1-0 to trailing 4-1 to producing the game’s next 10 runs.
“He had a night that was incredible,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We needed it.”
And all this began in a game started by Sonny Gray, against whom Trout had been seven for 34 with 13 strikeouts.
That history was history and immediately. Zack Cozart led off the game with a nine-pitch at-bat that ended in a single. Trout then hit Gray’s next offering with an audible thud off the left-field wall for a run-scoring double.
From there, Trout took over offensively in the fashion of LeBron James, minus the beard. He dominated, basically overwhelming whatever opposition the Yankees tried to put in his path.
His hits came on two fastballs, two sliders and a splitter. The pitches were as fast as 96 mph and as slow as 85 mph.
The victory was the 1,599th of Scioscia’s managerial career, tying him with the Dodgers’ Tommy Lasorda, who managed each of Scioscia’s 13 seasons as a player.
The night’s only downer for the Angels was the loss of Justin Upton. He departed because of a left forearm contusion caused by a 92-mph fastball from Gray. X-rays were negative.
The Angels had lost their first four games against the Yankees this season by a total score of 19-6.
They finally won on a night when they had a 21-year-old rookie pitcher making his sixth big league start throwing to a 25-year-old rookie catcher making his big league debut.
In New York.
On a Saturday night.
On Fox Sports, the big Fox Sports, this game televised to 65% of the country.
A few hours earlier, Scioscia had explained that the idea for Jaime Barria and Jose Briceno was to treat this night like one of their starts together at triple-A Salt Lake. Nothing more.
Their previous pairing came April 28 for the Bees, a game in which Barria limited the opposition to two runs in 52/3 innings.
The opponent this time, however, most assuredly was not the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Instead, Barria was matched against a lineup that featured, in the No. 9 position, a player who had hit home runs in four consecutive games.
Then, in his first five pitches, Barria gave up 845 feet of New York home runs, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge each going deep.
In the second inning, he gave up a home run, a foul-pole kisser by Austin Romine, the Yankees scoring four times before Barria could secure his fifth out.
But that, like a faucet instantly dripping dry, was it. Barria gave up only two more singles and a walk as he completed five innings to give Trout and the offense the time that was needed to come back. The rally included Briseno’s first home run more magic by Trout.
“He is the best player on the planet,” Barria said of Trout. “I’m proud to be part of the team with him.”