Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — It didn't take long for Mike Trout to continue his season-long hit streak. The Salt Lake Bees outfielder led off with a triple in Sunday's 5-4 win over Tucson at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Trout, who is rated as the top prospect in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization, now has hits in all 11 games the Bees have played this season.
Trout shrugs off his success, insisting he's just trying to get at-bats during his tenure with Salt Lake.
"I'm seeing the ball good right now. I'm hunting one pitch," Trout said. "When I get in the count I'm looking for a zone and if I get in my zone I'm trying to put a good swing on it."
The 20-year-old, who appeared in 40 games with the Angels last season, is building quite a case for a return to the majors. He's batting .417 in his Triple-A campaign.
Trout said he's been doing some extra work in the batting cage, more than he used to, and it's definitely been helping him.
The streak, however, isn't a big concern.
"I don't really worry about that stuff," said Trout, who had three hits on Sunday. "I just go out there and play."
Trout's approach and consistency, noted Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson, makes him a special player.
"The thing that makes him special is you see all of his game every night," Johnson said. "Even if he doesn't have a hit, which he hasn't yet, he's going to go out there and he's going to put together some good at-bats and do some good things for you on the field."
Johnson admits he's a bit surprised by Trout's success at such a young age. However, on the other hand, it's something the slugger has been doing his entire career.
"It's not like all of sudden he was doing it OK and then now he's doing great," Johnson said.
Bees pitcher Garrett Richards, who like Trout made the direct jump from Double-A Arkansas to the Angels last season (making seven appearances), is also off to an impressive start. The 24-year-old right-hander improved to 2-0 on the season while holding Tucson to just three hits over 7 2/3 innings.. He finished with six strikeouts and allowed just two walks.
"I felt like I was getting stronger as the game went on, just trying to pitch my game," said Richards, who competed for the Angels' fifth starter job throughout spring training. "While I'm down here I'm trying to definitely still push the envelope."
NOTEBOOK: The attendance was 3,603 . . . After six miscues over the first two games of the series, Salt Lake had just one on Sunday . . . Utah governor Gary Herbert is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night.
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