The storyline is simple, familiar and expected:
Mike Trout 4, Mariners 1.
And as the kids like to say, the Angels star continues “live rent-free” in the heads of the Mariners, their fans and the magenta palace that is T-Mobile Park for much of his illustrious career.
Why? Cause the owner doesn’t need to pay rent.
That ownership continued in the Angels’ victory Thursday in the opener of four-day, five-game series at T-Mobile Park with Trout hammering a pair of two-run homers to send the Mariners to their fifth loss in seven games.
The Mariners did nothing against Angels starter Shohei Ohtani, who tossed six shutout innings, allowing just three hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The Mariners’ one run came on J.P. Crawford’s RBI double in the eighth inning.
The offensive woes continue for the Mariners, who have failed to score more than three runs in each of their past 10 losses.
If it feels like Trout has hit a lot of homers against the Mariners and in Seattle, that’s because, well, he has … almost more than any player since the franchise came into existence in 1977.
With his two homers — a towering opposite field drive in the third inning off rookie starter George Kirby and a missile into the intoxicated mass of inhumanity known as The ‘Pen in the seventh inning off Sergio Romo — Trout has 49 career homers vs. the Mariners and 30 homers at T-Mobile Park.
Only Rafael Palmeiro (52) has racked up more homers against the Mariners in a career. But Trout holds the record for most homers hit by an opposing player at T-Mobile Park.
In a brief bit of history, Trout’s first homer(s) against the Mariners came on August 30, 2011 at Angels Stadium when he smashed a pair of homers off lefty Anthony Vazquez.
His first homer at T-Mobile Park, then called Safeco Field, was on Aug. 10, 2012 when he hit a three-run blast off Felix Hernandez. It was the first of eight career homers off Hernandez — the most he’s hit off any one pitcher.
Kirby (1-2) gave the Mariners a quality start, tossing six innings and allowing those two runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts.