CINCINNATI — Trout strikes again. Sort of. He had help.
Trout led off the seventh inning, which was itself novel, as no All-Star starter has had four plate appearances in a game since Jose Reyes did back in 2007. Trout walked. He was replaced by pinch runner Brock Holt, ending Trout’s night 1-for-3 with a walk, a homer and two runs scored.
Holt then stole second on a ball in the dir. Yadier Molina fired it down to second but never had a chance. Manny Machado then doubled in Holt, making it 4-2. Mark Teixiera then grounded Machado to third. Prince Fielder then hit a sac fly, scoring Machado.
It’s 5-2 American League heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Kyle Seager had the worst year of his big league career in 2018. He hit .221/.273/.400 (86 OPS+) and saw his home run total decline for the second straight year. In response, Seager has reported back to camp in Peoria . . . in the best shape of his life.
This story about it in the Seattle Times has it all: the poor production and nagging injuries that led to a change of habits in the offseason. A new diet, new exercise routines, a focus on flexibility, the epiphany that an injury was the result of conditioning and, as the payoff, the scene on the first day of workouts when his uniform was too baggy and he had to get a new one.
The proof, of course, will not come from the eating, but in the production.