OAKLAND -- Just because Mike Trout is the most accomplished rookie in recent memory doesn't mean the outfielder is going all out for a birthday bash.
Tuesday marked Trout's 21st birthday, and he was just planning on going out to dinner with his parents to celebrate. While that age is a pretty big milestone for most people, Trout's a different case, already chasing Major League milestones in his first full big league season.
The birthday boy is just focused on baseball, and after a big game in the Angels' series opener against the A's on Monday, he has reason to celebrate that, too.
Trout entered Monday's game hitting just .190 in five games against Oakland, his lowest batting average vs. any opponent (more than 12 at-bats). The last time the Halos squared off with the A's, the rookie went 1-for-13 in three games at the Coliseum in late May.
But he bucked that trend in the Angels' 4-0 win on Monday. Trout reached base four times and recorded three steals, and one of his two hits was a two-out RBI single in the second inning.
"Last series, wasn't seeing the ball good," Trout said. "Jumping a little bit. Last night, just tried to stay up the middle, stay short, not try to do too much. Once you try to do too much, you start to foul pitches off that you should be hitting. I just tried to slow my swing down."
At this point in the season, Trout's exploits are no longer a surprise, but that doesn't mean his teammates don't still take notice. For example, reliever LaTroy Hawkins -- old enough to be the rookie's father, at 39 -- said he still has moments where he's amazed at what Trout's doing.
Despite Trout's lack of experience and still-young age, for Hawkins, he's already proved where he stands among the game's best.
"Numbers will speak for themselves," Hawkins said. "People say what they want, but at the end of the day, numbers speak. Can't change those, no matter how hard they try."