Trout homers and steals, but White Sox beat Angels 9-4
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Mike Trout had his first homer and first stolen base of the spring in the Chicago White Sox's 9-4 victory over a Los Angeles Angels split squad on Monday.
Jose Abreu had three hits for the White Sox. Dioner Navarro had two hits and two RBIs, and Steve Lombardozzi hit a two-run homer in the seventh.
Trout connected in the third inning against Chicago starter Erik Johnson, turning the first pitch into a line drive over the center field wall. Trout swung at the lowest percentage of first pitches in the AL last year, but is planning to add aggression to his formidable talents.
''Mike is going to be aggressive when it's there,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He's developing a nice feel, and if it happens to be on a first pitch, so be it.''
Trout also walked twice in three plate appearances, improving his on-base percentage to .636 in the spring.
''He's in the zone,'' Angels starter Hector Santiago said. ''He's seeing the ball well. That ball got out, and he knew it the second it hit the bat.''
White Sox: Johnson gave up four runs on three hits in three innings. His line was spoiled some when left fielder Jerry Sands misplayed a two-run double by Kole Calhoun, but otherwise looked sharp in his competition to earn the fifth spot in the White Sox rotation.
''I felt great,'' Johnson said. ''The ball is definitely exploding out of my hand. You could tell just by all the terrible contact, a lot of weak foul balls. For me, the two balls they hit really hard were just fastballs up over the plate. I'm still getting synced up, still really dialing in and I knew today I wanted to throw a lot of fastballs and that's exactly what I did.''
Angels: Santiago struck out five and yielded four hits in three solid innings for the Angels. The former White Sox hurler even threw his screwball, which he used sparingly during his 2015 All-Star season.
''It's there,'' Santiago said of the screwball. ''I threw seven or eight in the bullpen warming up. It's definitely an effective pitch. It has different depth, a different perspective to it. It's top to bottom, running away from a righty or down and in to a lefty. It's a pitch, no doubt about it. It's a matter of how aggressive our catchers want to be calling it.''
White Sox: 1B Adam LaRoche is close to returning from back spasms.
Angels: C Taylor Ward, Los Angeles' top prospect, was reassigned to minor league camp along with four other players.
White Sox: John Danks is expected to start when Chicago hosts the Milwaukee Brewers at Camelback Ranch.
Angels: Ace Garrett Richards makes his second start of the spring when they visit the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles' probable opening day starter gave up two runs in his spring debut.