Mike Trout rounds first base after his three-run walk-off home run.
Mike Trout rounds first base after his three-run walk-off home run. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

With the Angels trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, a few thousand fans remained at Angel Stadium hoping for an improbable comeback.

Mike Trout, his teammates and the Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen gave it to them.


Shrugging off his recent batting slump, Trout launched a three-run home run over the left-field fence to give the Angels a 6-5 win over the Rays on Thursday night.

It was Trout's first career walk-off hit and his eighth homer of the season.

"I just told myself to be calm and get a pitch to hit," a grinning Trout told reporters in a euphoric Angels clubhouse after the game.

"You live for the moment, you want to get that big hit for the team," he said. "It's an unbelievable feeling when you can help the team like that."

Tampa Bay certainly gave Trout and the Angels the opportunity.

Rays reliever Grant Balfour opened the inning by walking Hank Conger and pinch-hitter Efren Navarro. Collin Cowgill then hit a clutch single to score Conger, making the score 5-3, with Navarro and Cowgill still on base.

Tampa Bay then replaced Balfour with Brad Boxberger, with Boxberger opting to throw mostly change-ups to get Trout out. It didn't work.

"He threw me one [on the] first pitch and I saw it pretty good," Trout said. When another change-up arrived, Trout was ready.

The home run provided Trout with a boost amid his recent slump. Entering Thursday's game, Trout was batting only .149 this month.

"I'm always staying positive," Trout said. "One swing of the bat can boost your confidence."

Indeed, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said of Trout: "If he is frustrated, he doesn't show it. He just keeps going on and moving forward."