ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Trout homered twice and Jaime Barria, filling Skaggs’ roster spot, struck out a career-high eight batters in five innings as the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Wednesday night.
The second game for the Los Angeles Angels following the death of Tyler Skaggs brought a sense of normalcy — even if things were still far from normal.
“Obviously a lot better today,” said Trout, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot leading off the sixth. “Yesterday was probably the toughest, one of the toughest games I’ve played in a long … ever.”
The 27-year-old Skaggs was found unresponsive in his room at the team hotel on Monday.
“Today was probably the first day where there was an occasional smile,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “But it’s still going to take time. It’s not the kind of thing that goes away quickly.”
Trout has hit 24 home runs this season, tied for the American League lead with the New York Yankees’ Edwin Encarnación, with eight against Texas.
Trout has 33 career homers against the Rangers, second to his 37 against the Seattle Mariners. It was his 17th career multi-homer game and second this season.
“I’ll take two home runs (from Trout) every day,” Ausmus said.
Barria (3-2) was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake for his sixth stint with Los Angeles this season. He allowed both runs on four hits and two walks. He has pitched five innings in all three of his Angels starts this season.
“This game was totally dedicated to Tyler,” Barria said through an interpreter. “I’m going to miss him. Totally great guy.”
The Rangers were shut out over the final four innings by four relievers, limited to four hits overall and have lost four straight games. Texas struck out 16 times, two short of its season high, with four by Rougned Odor.
“We really didn’t create any pressure today,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
Ariel Jurado (5-4) gave up all six runs on seven hits and one walk after pitching seven shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers last Thursday.
Skaggs’ spot in the rotation will come up for the first time in Thursday’s series finale with Griffin Canning starting, moved back from Wednesday.
The Rangers resumed their standard game presentation, including walk-up music for their batters, after eliminating some elements during Tuesday’s game in respect for Skaggs.
The matchup of Barria vs. Jurado marked the first major league game in which both starters were from Panama.
Matt Thaiss was selected from Salt Lake and made his major league debut starting at third base with All-Star second baseman Tommy La Stella lost for 8-to-10 weeks with a broken bone in his lower right after he fouled a 97-mph fastball ball off his leg on Tuesday. David Fletcher moved from third base to second base.
Thaiss hit an opposite-field double in his first at-bat.
“It was definitely something that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time,” Thaiss said.
Tim Federowicz hit his third homer in 14 games with the Rangers and scored both of Texas’ runs.
OTHER PREGAME MOVES
Angels OF Jarrett Parker was also selected from Salt Lake and entered the game in the sixth inning. He replaced Justin Upton, who left with left quad tightness from a slide. Ausmus said he doesn’t think Upton’s injury is serious. … Texas recalled RHP Phillips Valdez from Triple-A Nashville and optioned RHP Pete Fairbanks to Nashville. Valdez made his second major league appearance, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out three.
A TOUGH BREAK
La Stella was laying on the training table with his eyes closed after being removed from Tuesday’s game. He opened his eyes when touched on the chest by general manager Billy Eppler.
“They were welled a little bit,” Eppler said. “Then mine started as well. We’ll just be here to support him.”
Angels: La Stella and OF Brian Goodwin were placed on the 10-day injured list. Goodwin sustained a right wrist contusion Tuesday when he was hit by a pitch.
Rangers: DH Hunter Pence (groin) won’t play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game after being voted in and isn’t expected to be ready for Texas’ first game after the break, July 11 at home against Houston.
RHP Canning (3-4, 3.79) won last Thursday, holding Oakland to two runs in six innings. He’ll face RHP Lance Lynn (10-4, 4.00), who has won four straight decisions and trails only the Chicago White Sox’s Lucas Giolito in major league wins.