Trout doubles in third rehab game

Trout doubles in third rehab game

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- If the groove in Mike Trout's swing isn't quite perfect, he showed himself to be comfortable on Saturday night.

Trout had a double and a walk in three plate appearances during his rehab start with Class A Advanced Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels' California League affiliate.

Trout's timing showed improvement from his first game with the 66ers on Wednesday night, the first game he played in since tearing the UCL in his left thumb while stealing second base against the Miami Marlins on May 28.

"My thumb feels 100 percent, and there is no discomfort," said Trout, who was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2014 and '16. This season, he had a .337 batting average and an OPS of 1.203 before his injury.

One thing that may have helped Trout was that he faced Dodgers lefty Scott Kazmir, who was making a rehab start for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. 

"I've faced [Kazmir] a few times, but it's good to see pitching, whether it's big league pitching or Minor League pitching," Trout said.

Trout has faced Kazmir 12 times, recording three singles and two walks.

Trout also played in center field and ran the bases.

"Being in the outfield helped me because it was easy to stay loose," Trout said.

Against Kazmir, Trout drove a double down the left-field line to lead off the bottom of the first inning. He made good contact with two foul balls before drawing a walk in the second inning, and took two strikes against relief pitcher Michael Boyle before breaking his bat on a groundout to shortstop.

Trout will play two more games with Inland Empire, which next plays in Stockton on Wednesday. The Angels' first game following the All-Star break will be at home against Tampa Bay on Friday.

George Alfano is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.