TORONTO (AP) — Getting back to basics at the plate has been paying off for Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout.
Trout hit two home runs, including his sixth career grand slam, and had a career-best seven RBIs as the Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-6 on Wednesday night.
“This is the best I’ve felt all season, just getting a pitch to hit and not missing it, just barrelling the ball,” Trout said.
Justin Upton also homered for the Angels, who have won all six meetings with the Blue Jays this season and 18 of the last 24 in Toronto.
Trout, who finished 3 for 6, flied out in the sixth, struck out looking at a full count pitch in the eighth, and had an RBI single with the bases loaded in the ninth.
“He was very Mike Trout-ish today,” manager Brad Ausmus said.
It was the first seven-RBI game by an Angels batter since Torii Hunter did it against Kansas City on July 4, 2010.
Trout now has 22 homers, tying him with New York’s Edwin Encarnacion for the American League lead. Trout has hit 10 home runs in his past 19 games.
A seven-time All-Star and two-time AL MVP, Trout hit .275 in May but has rebounded to go 22 for 65 (.338) with eight homers and 22 RBIs so far in June, boosting his season average to .299.
Trout said he “looked into stuff way too much” when he wasn’t hitting well, eventually deciding that simplicity was the best approach.
“You can do all the work in the cage, all the mechanical stuff in the cage,” he said. “Once you’re in the game you’ve just got to go up there and compete. Once I started doing that, I started feeling way better up there.”
Rowdy Tellez hit two home runs for Toronto, his 12th and 13th, but the Blue Jays lost their seventh straight at home. It’s their longest such streak since an eight-game stretch in April 2004.
Toronto is 22 games below .500, their worst mark since finishing the 2004 season at 67-94.
Trout hit a two-run shot in the second and added his second grand slam of the season in the fourth. Both homers came off struggling Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-9), who lost his fifth straight start.
Each of Trout’s homers came off his bat at more than 110 miles per hour. He has nine home runs this season with exit velocities of 110 miles per hour or more. Trout’s first drive hit a scoreboard on the facing of the third deck in left field.
“The guy is so good,” Angels starter Andrew Heaney said. “It’s so fun to watch.”
Tellez erased a 3-0 deficit with a three-run homer off Heaney in the second, but Trout put the Angels in front for good with his slam in the fourth.
Heaney was replaced by Noe Ramirez (3-0) after Eric Sogard’s two-run single in the bottom half. Heaney allowed five runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings, and walked a season-high four. Three of those four walks came around to score.
“I’m extremely happy we won the game but I’m also extremely disappointed in myself,” Heaney said.
Kole Calhoun singled and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Luis Rengifo in the seventh, and a second run scored on a throwing error by pitcher Derek Law.
Upton, who came off the injured list Monday, homered for the second time in three games when he connected off Jordan Romano in the eighth.
Tellez hit a solo shot off Cam Bedrosian in the bottom half. It was the second multihomer game of Tellez’s career.
Sanchez allowed seven runs, six earned, and nine hits in 3 2/2 innings. He has lost eight straight decisions since beating Oakland on April 27.
“Falling behind in the count, things kind of get predictable and that’s where I was tonight,” Sanchez said.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons (left ankle) went 2 for 2 with a pair in singles in four innings at rookie-level Orem Tuesday. He was set to play seven innings with Orem Wednesday.
Blue Jays: RHP Ken Giles (right elbow) threw 22 pitches to live hitters before the game. Giles was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 9. … OF Teoscar Hernandez (sprained left wrist) sat for the second straight game. Hernandez left Monday’s game after he crashed into an unpadded section of the outfield fence while trying to make a catch.
Angels: OF Cesar Puello was traded to Miami for cash. Puello was designated for assignment Monday when Upton was activated off the injured list.
FISHING FOR HOMERS
Trout has 16 career multihomer games but has never hit three in a game. He said that was on his mind after his grand slam.
“You can’t help but think about it,” he said.
Angels: LHP Jose Suarez (2-1, 4.50) allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings to beat Tampa Bay in his previous start.
Blue Jays: LHP Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.52) has allowed 12 earned runs in7 2/3 innings over his past two outings.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports