Angels slugger Mike Trout returned to the lineup for Thursday night’s 7-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers after missing five consecutive games and six of the previous seven because of a tight left hamstring, the most significant injury to date in his spectacular big league career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP, went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter to snap his 17-game hitting streak.
“It wasn’t fun,” Trout said of sitting out. “You want to be out there. … I missed some pitches tonight, fouled off some I should hit, but that’s baseball.”
Trout hadn’t played since last Friday. He said he felt strong on his legs while sprinting to run out two early ground balls, raising his confidence in his ability to return to center field Friday.
“Felt good,” Trout said. “[The ground balls] clear your mind a little bit. Haven’t done anything at that speed in six days, but it felt fine.”
Trout’s hamstring bothered him during warm-ups last Saturday, and he was a late scratch for a home game against the Astros. On Monday, general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI exam came back “clean and normal.”
Trout tested the leg by running and doing work in the outfield Wednesday, after which manager Mike Scioscia said he was hopeful Trout would be in the lineup Thursday.