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Mike Trout belts 300th home run to become Angels’ career leader

The Angels' Mike Trout, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Mike Trout is the Angels’ new home run leader.

In a 10-9 doubleheader victory over the Houston Astros, Trout crushed a 93-mph fastball to the opposite field for his 15th homer of the season and the 300th of his career. The third-inning, two-run blast secured Trout’s position atop the franchise charts, which fellow Angels icon Tim Salmon had held for nearly 14 years.

“At least I can pass the torch on to somebody in the family — another fish,” a jovial Salmon said on the game broadcast, for which he regularly serves as analyst. “It lasted 20 years, 18 days, 3 hours and 37 minutes, but who’s counting?”

Salmon hit his 299th home run on Sept. 27, 2006.

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After returning his equipment to the home dugout at Angel Stadium, Trout emerged to make eye contact with Salmon, who was on the broadcast level, and mime a hug in his direction.

For Trout, the only thing missing was real crowd noise. All MLB games have been played in empty ballparks.

“It’d be a lot better if there were fans in the stands to see it, but that’s the way we’re living in 2020,” Trout said. “It’s a great milestone. Having Salmon here at our home games, passing it off to me.”

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Trout’s historic home run cut through sweltering heat — the 109-degree temperature at first pitch was the hottest in ballpark history — at 105 mph before landing several rows deep in the right-field seats. Astros starter Brandon Bielak, a native of New Jersey like Trout, whipped around to follow the trajectory of the 410-foot blast as soon as Trout barreled the pitch.

Trout is on pace to hit at least 10 additional homers this season. He has a chance to catch up to Giancarlo Stanton and move into eighth place on the active player leaderboard. Injury has limited the New York Yankees outfielder, a prodigious slugger when healthy, to 14 games.

Trout, 29, is the 16th player to reach 300 home runs before turning 30 years old and the 11th fastest to accomplish the feat.

“He’s a special player,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “He takes care of his days really well. He works. If it’s not quite right, he fights to work his way through it. He is the consummate pro with some of the sickest ability in the history of this game. All the credit to him. It’s no surprise. And what is he, 29? There’s a lot of time left.”

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Active MLB home run leaders

1. Albert Pujols, 659
2. Miguel Cabrera, 482
3. Edwin Encarnación, 421
4. Nelson Cruz, 414
5. Ryan Braun, 346
6. Robinson Canó, 331
7. Jay Bruce, 318
8. Giancarlo Stanton, 311
9. Justin Upton, 303
10. Evan Longoria, 302
11. Mike Trout, 300


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