Before the Angels’ final home game in 2022, stadium host Mandi Ortiz asked two young fans what they would like to see during the game.
Their answer: Mike Trout’s home run.
In the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers, in front of an announced crowd of 26,041, Trout delivered.
The slugger smashed his 39th home run of the season off Tyson Miller’s 2-and-2 curveball, which Miller threw straight down the middle.
A trout jumped onto the pitch and sent it 409 feet to its usual landing spot, over the center field wall.
“It feels good,” Trout said of the shot. “He’s been playing some good ball lately and it’s good to end the home stand of the year in front of the fans with a win.”
The solo home run put the Angels ahead by seven runs and gave him the title for most home runs against the Rangers since they moved to Texas, with 44. The record was previously held by Reggie Jackson.
“I mean, he’s away from 40 and he missed a lot of the season. He looks good,” interim manager Phil Nevin said of Trout.
Since returning from the injured list on August 19, after recovering from a back injury, Trout has not missed a beat.
In his last 37 games – including Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Rangers – Trout has 15 home runs, 28 RBI, 44 hits and 29 runs.
His 39 home runs are second in the American League, fourth in baseball. New York Yankee Aaron Judge leads baseball with 61 home runs, and before the New York Mets played on Sunday Pete Alonso was third with 40.
Asked if he thinks about what his offensive numbers could be without that IL period for a month, Trout said, “I try not to think about it. I tried to finish the season strong when I came back and got three more games left, so it’s going in the right direction.”
In the Angels’ six-run first inning, Trout also got the first run of the game, a single that bounced around the infield.
He scored on Taylor Ward’s single for the game’s first run.
The first inning also included the Rangers walking an Angels run, Livan Soto driving in two and David Fletcher driving in two with one out.
The Rangers scored three runs in the fifth inning, with two coming on a home run by Corey Seager off Angels starter Tucker Davidson.
Davidson pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and three hits with five walks. He struck out three.
With the win, the Angels swept both teams they played in their six-game homestand.
The Angels still have a three-game series in Oakland, but finished with a 40-41 home record.
“It wasn’t good enough. We’re not where we wanted to be,” Trout said when asked about the home record. “But the boys didn’t put our heads down. We’re trying to finish strong.”
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.