CLEVELAND -- In most cases, when trout are biting on the lake, that means a good day of fishing, but in baseball terms, when center fielder Mike Trout "bites" his opponents, it is only good for the Los Angeles Angels.
Instead of getting one out on left fielder Raul Ibanez's ground ball to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, the Cleveland Indians failed to register an out. Two hitters later, the Los Angeles center fielder belted a three-run homer off starter Josh Tomlin in the Angels' 9-3 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field Tuesday night.
During the at-bat that turned the fortunes of the game, Trout fouled off three straight balls and took an outside curveball before blasting what Tomlin said was "a fastball down and away" over the right-field wall and out of the reach of Indians outfielder David Murphy.
"I thought he was fighting his command a little bit," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Tomlin. "He didn't walk anybody. He rarely does. It was just locating his fastball. Even coming from the bullpen, (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway) said he was yanking his fastballs, so he was fighting that coming in.
"He limited the damage in the first inning, and then, I thought he really pulled it together a little bit and pitched three pretty good innings. Then, we couldn't keep (Kole) Calhoun off base and coming up with those big guys in the middle, we don't convert the one ground ball, and then, Trout had that one at-bat where he just couldn't put him away. He saw so many pitches. The more pitches he saw, the more dangerous he got and he hit the home run to right field. That was, obviously, a big blow."
Trout finished the game three for five with two runs scored, four batted in and two home runs. Including Tuesday's game, he is now hitting .311 on the season.
"I threw him a handful of cutters in that at-bat, hopefully, trying to get him to take that pitch or foul it back," Tomlin said. "I was hoping it would cut away, but it didn't. He took a pretty good swing on it, and you saw what happened.
"He's tough to pitch to. He's a good baseball player, but I've got to make a better pitch in that situation."
While Tomlin struggled through his 5.1 innings of work, the only thing that stopped Angels starter Matt Shoemaker was Mother Nature.
A very brief rain delay in the bottom of the ninth inning forced Angels manager Mike Scioscia to pull Shoemaker from the game after he allowed only two runs and five hits with 10 strikeouts against one walk in eight innings of work.
"He threw a very good breaking ball, and off of that, threw enough fastballs where he got above our barrels or got us looking for the breaking ball," Francona said. "He threw a really good breaking ball and he threw a lot of strikes."