ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels got their first look this season at the National League's version of Mike Trout — Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. And they walked away thankful he isn't in the American League.
Stanton upstaged Trout with a three-run homer in the first regular-season showdown between two of baseball's brightest young stars, helping to hand the Angels a 7-1 loss Monday night.
"We saw him a couple of years ago, but there is no doubt that he's mega-talented. And a lot of the stuff that he does reminds you of a lot of different people — anywhere from Vlad Guerrero to Mike Trout," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "He does a lot of good things well on the field, and you can see why he's such a terrific ballplayer."
The Angels slipped back into a tie for the AL West lead with Oakland, which won 8-2 in Houston.
Stanton and Trout entered the final interleague series of the season for both clubs leading their respective leagues in extra-base hits and total bases. Stanton also tops the NL in homers, RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Trout, runner-up in AL MVP voting each of the past two seasons, was this year's All-Star game MVP.
"I don't know if anyone expected Stanton to be doing what he's doing. But with Trout, everyone expects that — and he's living up to his billing," Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart said. "I think going into the season, maybe people underestimated Stanton a little bit. But no one in this locker room did. I mean, if that's not an MVP, I don't know what is.
"You ask any pitcher in the league, and they'll tell you they don't like facing the guy. So the publicity will come for him. Hopefully he gets a chance to play in the playoffs and let the whole world see what he can do," Cosart added.
The Marlins opened the scoring with a three-run third and made it 7-0 in the fourth with Stanton's 33rd homer, a line drive to left-center off Cory Rasmus that increased his RBI total to 97. It was the 150th career homer for the two-time All-Star right fielder.
"The first time through the order was pretty smooth, but they did a good job making adjustments — and obviously I didn't," losing pitcher Wade LeBlanc said. "I knew the adjustments I needed to make, and I just didn't execute them. That's a good hitting ballclub over there, and they're pretty hot right now."
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