ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout has started back-to-back games with a home run, and in the process has set a new Angels franchise record for homers by a leadoff hitter, providing further proof that he's as true a five-tool player as they come.
In Saturday's 6-1 win over the Tigers, he hit a leadoff homer off Justin Verlander -- then finished the game by robbing Prince Fielder of a home run. In Sunday's series finale, he opened up the home half of the first inning with a home run to right-center field off Anibal Sanchez, giving him four leadoff homers this season and 27 overall.
That overall total surpasses Brian Downing (1982) and Tony Phillips ('95) for the Angels' club record for homers from the leadoff spot in the lineup. Since 1974, only Nomar Garciaparra (30 in '97 with the Red Sox) has more home runs as a rookie leadoff hitter.
In 478 at-bats during his rookie season in the Majors, Trout has hit four more homers than he did in 1,117 at-bats in his Minor League career.
"They're good," Trout said of the home runs. "I'm just putting good swings on balls that are going out. These last couple games, I've felt like I'm on pitches, and I either foul them off or pop 'em up. But I'm starting to get on top of the ball a little better. The one last night and the one today, it just feels good."