ANAHEIM — It was a scary moment for the Angels when Mike Trout exited in the bottom of the third on Tuesday, an eventual 6-5 loss to the Red Sox in 10 innings at Angel Stadium that extended the Angels’ losing streak to 13 straight games.
Trout’s ailment, announced as left groin tightness, will require further evaluation on Wednesday. For the time being, though, it seems the move was one made out of an abundance of caution rather than serious concern.
“It’s a little sore,” Trout said after the game. “Coming out of the box, I didn’t feel it. And then I felt, like, a little cramp. And then I got to second base and [was] just a little achy, and we’re just trying to be smart about it.”
As of now, there’s no testing scheduled for Trout. Whether or not he’s able to play in the third game of the series with Boston will depend on how he feels when he gets to the park.
“We have to take a look at him the next day, really, to get a good look at what’s going on there,” said interim manager Phil Nevin, who took over after Joe Maddon was relieved of his duties earlier in the day. “But he doesn’t seem too alarmed about it.”
It was shaping up to be a great offensive game for Trout, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning, then doubled in the third. Trout appeared to wince as he reached second base, but stayed there for the next batter. After Jared Walsh flied out, Trout had a short discussion with the team trainer before heading to the dugout. He was replaced by pinch-runner Jo Adell, who came around to score one pitch later on Max Stassi’s ground-rule double.
Trout had gone 0-for-26 prior to Monday, the longest drought of his career, before singling in the first inning of that game to snap his skid. He’d come to the ballpark early that day to get some extra batting practice in, facing live pitching at 12:30 p.m., several hours before he’d normally begin his pregame workouts. With his three hits over his next five at-bats, the results of that effort seemed to be showing.
“It’s just good to see him swinging the bat like that, and hopefully this isn’t anything too serious,” said Nevin. “But like I said, we have to reevaluate this tomorrow. These things, they act funny right away, and tomorrow’s really a gauge for us.”
The Angels are already pretty banged up, with several key hitters on the injured list. They’re missing third baseman Anthony Rendon (right wrist inflammation), right fielder Taylor Ward (right hamstring strain) and infielder David Fletcher (hip surgery).
But more than anyone else, there is simply no replacing Trout. The Angels felt that keenly last year when Trout missed more than half the season with a right calf strain. In the midst of what is now the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history, it would be a devastating time for the Angels to lose him. Even with the slump, he’s still slashing .284/.388/.601 with a 183 wRC+, the fourth-highest mark in MLB.
At a juncture where it would be understandable for optimism to be in short supply, Nevin said he’s not concerned about his players showing fight.
“I’m not worried about the morale of these guys at all,” said Nevin. “We lose, it’s quiet [in the clubhouse], of course. But you guys saw the effort today, from everybody. Some great at-bats, some good defensive plays. … I thought there were a lot of great things that happened. This was just a baseball game where we ended up on the wrong side of it.”