TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Trout wasted little time in showing off his million-dollar swing.
The young star hit a grand slam onto the berm by the left-field foul pole and drove in five runs Friday in the Los Angeles Angels’ 15-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.
Trout struck out in the first and hit an RBI single that capped a four-run second against Cubs starter Chris Rusin. He hit the grand slam against James McDonald in a nine-run fourth.
“I think it was out before he got out of the batter’s box,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Trout agreed Wednesday to a $1 million deal, a record for a one-year major league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn’t coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn’t required to have a larger amount because of the maximum-cut rule.
Jered Weaver allowed one hit in three innings, Darwin Barney’s infield single in the first, against a Cubs team that featured mostly backups and players bound for the minors.
Chris Iannetta homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Barney homered against Brian Moran in the fourth
J. B. Shuck played left field in place of injured Josh Hamilton and went 2 for 3 with a triple with three RBIs. Hamilton strained a left calf muscle Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.
“We were on pitches that you usually don’t expect the team to on this early in the spring,” Scioscia said.
Angels: Weaver told reporters that he did more stretching than he has in the past as he headed into the season, his ninth with the team.
“It’s the first day of school and it’s exciting to get back out there,” said Weaver, 11-8 with a 3.27 ERA in 24 starts in an injury-plagued 2013. The three-time All-Star was hit in the left elbow by a line drive off the bat of Texas’ Mitch Moreland on April 7 last season and missed seven weeks. “I wanted to throw strikes and work on mechanics and keep pitches in the strike zone.”
Cubs: Chris Rusin, a rotation candidate because right-hander Jake Arrieta is not expected to be ready by opening day, was hit hard. He gave up five hits and four runs in two innings with one walk and two strikeouts.
“I felt my mechanics were a little bit off in the second,” Rusin said. “Other than that, I was pleased with my first outing.”
Rusin went 2-6 with a 3.93 ERA in 13 games (all starts) with the Cubs in 2013. He had a 2.64 ERA in his fist eight starts and then a 6.55 ERA over his final five starts. He threw 22 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road in one stretch, the longest run for a Cubs left-hander on the road in franchise history.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria said Arrieta has lengthened his distance and is feeling better. Arreita, who has been slowed with tightness in his throwing shoulder this spring, is slated to be in the Cubs’ starting rotation this season. He is expected to join the team sometime in April.
The Cubs’ highlight Friday was provided by Kris Bryant, the No. 2 overall pick of last June’s draft, hit a long homer over the wall in center field in his first spring at bat, in the seventh inning.