Mike Trout homers on 3-0 count for the first time

Mike Trout 3-0 count
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Angels outfield Mike Trout put his team on the board with a three-run home run in the third inning Sunday afternoon against the Athletics. He worked the count 3-0 against starter Mike Fiers before drilling an 88 MPH fastball to left field for his first homer of the 2020 season, cutting the Athletics’ lead to 5-3.

The dinger marked the first time in 211 plate appearances that Trout homered on a 3-0 count. Entering Sunday’s action, Trout had drawn 203 walks and just one hit for a battling line of .200/.976/.200, according to Baseball Reference. Needless to say, Trout often takes at least one pitch after getting to 3-0.

The league average slash line on 3-0 counts last year was .410/.937/.846. 40 home runs were hit in 4,182 plate appearances.

Despite Trout’s homer, the Angels lost Sunday’s contest to the Athletics 6-4. Trout accounted for all four runs, adding a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

Trout, 28, is the reigning AL MVP, having won his third MVP Award in 10 seasons in the big leagues. In 2019, he hit .291/.438/.645 with 45 home runs, 104 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 600 trips to the plate.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).