The Los Angeles Angels were on a mission Friday night.
Riding the wave of an emotional pregame tribute to late teammate Tyler Skaggs, the Mike Trout-led lineup lit up the scoreboard with a seven-run first inning in Friday’s 13-0 win against the Seattle Mariners, before pitchers Taylor Cole and Felix Pena made history by pitching a combined no-hitter.
Adding to the moment was the visual of every Angels player who contributed to the victory wearing Skaggs’ name and No. 45 on the back of their jerseys. Every player and all uniformed personnel were wearing a matching Skaggs’ jersey as part of the team’s tribute.
Not surprisingly, it was Trout who set the tone. He was there for every one of Skaggs’ starts for the Angels, and he was the man who put the Angels on the board with a 454-foot two-run home run on the first pitch he saw.
Trout, along with David Fletcher, each posted two hits in the frame. The All-Star center fielder walloped a two-run double with the bases loaded his second time up, giving him six total bases and four RBIs.
Needless to say, it’s been awhile since the Angels have had a first inning like this one.
In a tribute to Tyler Skaggs, Mike Trout did something tonight no @Angels player had done in 25 years: hit two extra-base hits in the first inning.
The last Angels player to do that in the first inning was Jim Edmonds on 7/18/1994 against Boston.#TheHaloWay
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) July 13, 2019
David Fletcher and Mike Trout are the first pair of #Angels teammates to each of have two hits in the 1st inning of a game since 4/20/13 when Pujols, Trout and Bourjos all did it
— Matt Birch (@MattBirch12) July 13, 2019
Trout wasn’t finished there, adding RBIs on a second-inning hit-by-pitch and fifth-inning double. The six RBIs were one short of his career high.
It was one of those nights where there was no explanation. The Angels simply could do no wrong.
Mike Trout: “You can’t make this stuff up.” Pointed out they scored seven runs in first and had 13 hits. Skaggs’ 28th birthday would’ve been tomorrow on 7/13
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 13, 2019
Baseball will go on now. That’s how it goes.
Some days will be harder than others for the Angels as they attempt to pick up, move on and regain something close to normalcy again. But rest assured, with every moment, good or bad, they will have Tyler Skaggs on their minds.
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