NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout drew a no-pitch intentional walk his first time up, a decision by Mets manager Terry Collins that prompted scattered boos around the ballpark.
All those fans who hoped to see Trout hit, well, they didn’t have to wait long.
Trout homered , doubled and drove in three early runs, C.J. Cron hit a grand slam and the Los Angeles Angels bolted to a big lead in beating New York 12-5 Sunday.
“We weren’t missing pitches,” Trout said.
Aiming to avoid a three-game sweep, the Angels built a 9-0 lead by the third inning. Andrelton Simmons and Jefry Marte also homered for Los Angeles.
“We know we can hit. We have a confident offense,” Cron said. “It hasn’t been the best stretch for some of us.”
Cron and Marte have slumped this season. No such trouble for Trout, who homered for the sixth time in nine games.
The reigning AL MVP hit his 14th homer, raised his batting average to .350, drew two walks, scored twice and stole a base.
A day after Collins said he was tempted to intentionally walk Trout with the bases loaded while trying to navigate with a ninth-inning lead, the skipper passed the Angels star to load the bases with no outs in the first.
“I don’t get frustrated,” Trout said.
Many of Trout’s family members and friends made the 130-mile drive from his New Jersey hometown to see this series, and wanted to watch him swing. They got to see plenty from Trout soon enough — he batted three times before some of the Mets starters came to the plate even once.
Matt Reynolds , Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce hit home runs as the Mets tried to rally.
Cron’s long slam highlighted a five-run first, and Trout hit a two-run homer and Marte followed with a home run in the second that chased Tommy Milone (1-2). Trout lined an RBI double off the center field wall in the third.
Jesse Chavez (4-5) pitched into the sixth and left soon after Bruce’s three-run drive made it 9-5.
A bases-loaded walk to Marte set up Cron’s his first homer of the season and second career slam, making it 5-0 before Milone retired anyone. Cron connected in his 79th at-bat after hitting 16 homers in each of the last two years.
Milone drew mock cheers when he finally fanned Kole Calhoun for the first out. Claimed off waivers from Milwaukee this month, the lefty was tagged for a career high-tying eight runs and three homers.
“It seemed like anytime I threw the ball over the plate, they were hitting it. That’s obvious,” Milone said.
Despite Milone’s rough outing, Collins said he probably would stay in the rotation. That would give Zack Wheeler an extra day to rest and Jacob deGrom more time to heal a blister.
“That being the case, right now Tommy’s going to go back out. We think that’s our best option,” Collins said.
Simmons hit a three-run shot in the seventh.
The Mets have yielded four slams this year, tied with San Diego for most in the majors. Three of the slams against the Mets have come in the first inning.
Mets INF Jose Reyes was scratched because of tightness in his left ribcage. Reynolds started in his place at shortstop.
“He wanted to play,” Collins said. “Believe me, he wanted to play. He said, ‘I think I’ll be OK,’ and I said, ‘You haven’t been paying attention to what’s gone on here.’ Every time we play somebody that’s got a tweak, we end up losing him for three weeks, so we didn’t play him today. … He’ll be fine Tuesday.”
Angels: Albert Pujols missed his third game in a row because of tendinitis in his right hamstring. Manager Mike Scioscia said the slugger worked out, felt better and was day to day. … RHP Cam Bedrosian (groin) is scheduled to throw Monday off a mound for the first time since going on the disabled list April 22.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (elbow) is scheduled to start Tuesday night for Triple-A Las Vegas. … RHP Seth Lugo (elbow) is set to start Tuesday night for Class A St. Lucie.
Angels: Continue their 10-game trip when RHP JC Ramirez (3-3, 3.97 ERA starts at Tampa Bay. Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.16) pitches for the Rays on Monday night.
Mets: Off Monday, then RHP Matt Harvey (2-3, 5.56) starts vs. San Diego RHP Jhoulys Chacin 4-3, 4.61) on Tuesday night. It will be Harvey’s first start at Citi Field since being suspended by the Mets for missing a game. Harvey has allowed a home run in five straight starts, the longest string of his career.