Mike Trout calls for daily virus testing in return to Angels

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Mike Trout remains skeptical about the wisdom of completing the full baseball season amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the Los Angeles Angels’ three-time AL MVP would like to see the addition of daily testing to the sport’s safety measures.

Trout spoke Tuesday after rejoining the Angels in Seattle following the birth of his first child. He missed four games after his wife, Jessica, gave birth to son Beckham Aaron Trout last Thursday.

The sleep-deprived superstar got on the Angels’ team plane Monday night with excitement and wariness. Trout was already concerned about the chances of playing safely through the pandemic before the shortened season began, and his growing family has only heightened those concerns.

“I think the protocols are good, but it’s just the testing,” Trout said. “I’ve said this since Day One, I think if you don’t have testing every day, it’s going to be tough. You’re always trying to catch up and trying to catch it. You know, if we get tested Friday and we have to wait two days to get the results back, you don’t know what’s going to happen in between. You’ve seen it with the Marlins. You’ve seen it with the Cardinals. It spreads fast.”

Trout praised the Angels organization and his teammates for taking the pandemic seriously, noting their stringent adherence to safety rules so far. But he remains wary, particularly with his newborn son at home with his exhausted wife.

“There’s a lot of things flying through my head,” Trout said. “Obviously, Jessica is worried. With this team, the Angels, we’ve been safe, and I feel safe here. Everybody is being accountable, staying in the hotel room, doing the right thing and making the right choices. Until something happens, I feel I feel like it’s been good so far. It’s definitely scary for baseball, because it only takes one person.”

Trout was in a lighter mood when describing the new parents’ thought process in choosing their baby boy’s name. Beckham is simply a name that both parents liked, while the middle name is in honor of Jessica’s late brother, Aaron Cox.

“We knew the whole time that his middle name was going to be Aaron,” said Trout, who had talked to his wife and son on FaceTime “about 30 times” already Tuesday.

Baseball fans noticed an added benefit to the Trouts’ name choice immediately after its announcement – and so did the parents.

“We kind of looked at each other, like, `Man, his initials are B.A.T.,”‘ Trout said with a laugh. “Just a coincidence.”

Trout rejoined the Angels’ lineup on the same day as the major league debut of Jo Adell, the Angels’ 21-year-old top prospect. Adell will play right field alongside Trout for the foreseeable future with the Angels, who want him to be an everyday player in the majors.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him because he can just go out and be himself,” Trout said. “There’s no fans in the stadium, so you can just go out there, relax and play (your) game. I talked to him last night, and he’s really excited to be here. I think everybody is looking forward to it.”

Padres clinch NL wild-card spot during 2-1 loss to White Sox

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres are going back to the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2006, a spot that they clinched during the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

The Padres were batting when the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers in 12 innings. The sellout crowd of 41,407 at Petco Park stood and cheered the sealed wild-card spot.

The Padres trailed 2-0 at the time but Kim Ha-seong homered a few minutes later.

The Padres had a chance to win in the ninth when they put two runners on with two outs against Liam Hendriks but pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro, who has five walk-off plate appearances this year, grounded out.

Fireworks went off and the Padres players were given hats and shirts, but there was no wild on-field celebration. Manager Bob Melvin was drenched with a cooler of water and the players gathered near the mound for photos. They were cheered by what was left of the crowd as they headed to the clubhouse.

San Diego is one game ahead of Philadelphia for the second of three NL wild cards.

The Padres won a wild-card series against St. Louis after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before being swept in the division series by the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before that, they hadn’t been to the playoffs since winning the NL West in 2005 and 2006.

It’s the seventh playoff berth in franchise history and the fourth since Petco Park opened in 2004. The Padres haven’t been to the World Series since 1998, when they were swept by the New York Yankees.

The Padres reached the playoffs this year without electrifying shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who was on the cusp of returning from a broken left wrist when he was suspended for 80 games by MLB on Aug. 12 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Slugger Manny Machado has carried the Padres most of the season offensively and they added Juan Soto from Washington in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.

The Padres hired the veteran Melvin after last year’s brutal September collapse cost Jayce Tingler his job.

Lance Lynn (8-7) and Blake Snell 8-10) were locked in a scoreless duel Sunday when Elvis Andrus homered off the San Diego lefty with one out in the sixth, his 16th. His shot reached the top balcony of the brick warehouse in the left field corner at Petco Park.

The White Sox went ahead 2-0 on Adam Engel‘s two-out single in the seventh that brought in Andrew Vaughn, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

San Diego got on the scoreboard when Kim homered to left off Lynn with two outs in the seventh, his 11th.

Lynn allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.

Snell allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Bailey Ober (2-3, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday at home against the Minnesota Twins, who will counter with Johnny Cueto (7-10, 3.39).

Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (10-7, 3.03) gets the start Monday night at home against the San Francisco Giants, who will go with Carlos Rodon (14-8, 2.88).