ARLINGTON, TEXAS – The Los Angeles Angels’ second game following the death of Tyler Skaggs brought a sense of normalcy — even if things were still far from normal.
Mike Trout homered twice and Jaime Barria, filling Skaggs’ roster spot, struck out a career-high eight batters in five innings as the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Wednesday night.
“Obviously a lot better today,” said Trout, who hit a three-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot leading off the sixth. “Yesterday was probably the toughest, one of the toughest games I’ve played in a long . . . ever.”
The 27-year-old Skaggs was found unresponsive in his room at the team hotel on Monday.
“Today was probably the first day where there was an occasional smile,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “But it’s still going to take time. It’s not the kind of thing that goes away quickly.”
Trout has hit 24 home runs this season, tied for the American League lead with the New York Yankees’ Edwin Encarnacion, with eight against Texas.
Trout has 33 career homers against the Rangers, second to his 37 against the Seattle Mariners. It was his 17th career multi-homer game and second this season.
“I’ll take two home runs (from Trout) every day,” Ausmus said.
Los Angeles designated hitter Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-4. He’s now batting .307.
Barria (3-2) was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake for his sixth stint with Los Angeles this season. He allowed both runs on four hits and two walks. He has pitched five innings in all three of his Angels starts this season.
“This game was totally dedicated to Tyler,” Barria said through an interpreter. “I’m going to miss him. Totally great guy.”
Nationals 3, Marlins 1
In Washington, Stephen Strasburg struck out 14 in 7⅓ shutout innings, Brian Dozier and Matt Adams homered and the Nationals continued their midseason surge with a win over Miami.
Washington has won seven of its last eight and is 25-10 since May 24. The Nationals improved to 44-41, the first time they’ve been three games over .500 this season.
Strasburg (10-4) was, as usual, brilliant against the Marlins. He allowed two hits and two walks while extending his personal winning streak against Miami to 11. The right-hander is 20-7 with a 2.86 ERA in 34 career starts against the Marlins, who didn’t get a man past first until the eighth.
Strasburg’s gem included the first immaculate inning of his career. Strasburg needed just nine pitches to strike out Garrett Cooper, Neil Walker and Starlin Castro in the fourth.
Pirates 6, Cubs 5
In Pittsburgh, Corey Dickerson’s sacrifice fly produced the winning run in the ninth to lift the hosts over Chicago.
Cubs starter Yu Darvish got a no-decision. He pitched 6⅔ innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. He walked none and struck out six.
Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 4 (10)
In Los Angeles, All-Star Cody Bellinger hit a tiebreaking homer in the 10th, giving the Dodgers a major league-tying fifth consecutive walk-off victory at home, over Arizona.
Bellinger also smacked a solo shot in the second and his 29 homers are the most in franchise history before the All-Star break. He broke a tie with Gil Hodges and Duke Snider, who had 28.
Yankees 5, Mets 1
In New York, Domingo German pitched six sharp innings in his return from injury and Didi Gregorius and Gio Urshela hit consecutive homers as the Yankees beat the Mets.
German (10-2) allowed a run over six innings, giving up five hits and no walks.
In Other Games
Reds 3, Brewers 0
Braves 9, Phillies 2
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 3
Pirates 6, Cubs 5
Indians 4, Royals 0
Astros 4, Rockies 2
Orioles 9, Rays 6
White Sox 7, Tigers 5 (1st)
White Sox 9, Tigers 6 (12) (2nd)
Giants 7, Padres 5
Cardinals 5, Mariners 2
Twins 4, Athletics 3 (12 )
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5