Trout's mammoth blast makes splash in KC
Slugger's 18th home run of season lands in Kauffman Stadium fountains
KANSAS CITY -- Mike Trout got all of Jason Vargas' first-inning fastball on Friday night -- and then some.
The Angels center fielder scorched a solo homer that sailed into the second set of fountains in left-center at Kauffman Stadium, which sit adjacent to the scoreboard in dead center, putting his team on the board and dropping jaws in both dugouts.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said it's "about as far as you're going to see a ball hit," and at least one estimate agrees with him.
Royals media relations estimated it at 445 feet, but ESPN's Home Run Tracker had it at 489 feet, which would mark the longest home run this season and the longest of Trout's career. The latter distance is the longest home run since Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton hit one 494 feet on Aug. 17, 2012, and the longest by an American League player since ESPN began tracking home runs in 2006.
One reason for the discrepancy in the two estimates might be the fact that ESPN's Home Run Tracker measures "true distance," which is how far the ball would have traveled if unimpeded.
"I definitely barreled it," Trout said after the Angels' 8-6 loss. "I just tried to put a good swing on it. I got a pitch I could hit and hit it out."
Trout's second-longest homer -- 461 feet on May 23, 2013 -- also came at Kauffman Stadium against a former teammate in Ervin Santana.
Since entering the Majors in 2011, Trout has ranked third in average distance of homers. His 415.2 feet trail only the Braves' Justin Upton (418.2) and Stanton (416.2). Per ESPN, Friday's blast was the longest homer at Kauffman Stadium since at least '06, surpassing Travis Hafner's 481-foot shot on April 15, 2012.
"Well, I've been here five years and that's the most impressive home run I've seen here," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I mean, it was just absolutely crushed."
Trout sports a team-leading 18 home runs, tied for fifth in the AL, and ranks second in the Majors with a 1.019 OPS. But he has yet to be invited to the Home Run Derby by AL captain Jose Bautista.
Would he do it?
"I don't know," Trout said. "I don't know."
Skaggs set for return after first rehab outing
KANSAS CITY -- Tyler Skaggs may only need one rehab outing before being activated off the 15-day disabled list, even though it was a shaky one.
The Angels' 22-year-old left-hander gave up seven runs, though only two were earned, and lasted three innings for Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday night. It was Skaggs' first action since landing on the DL with a strained right hamstring on June 10.
Skaggs walked five, and reports indicated that his fastball was tailing arm-side too often, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said his velocity was good and that he'll be back with the team this week.
After that, the Angels will decide if Skaggs can start for them on Wednesday or Thursday, a move that would force either Hector Santiago or Matt Shoemaker to be taken out of the rotation.
"We'll know here in a couple of days," Scioscia said, "but I would say if he's healthy, he needs to get out here and face some Major League hitters."
Navarro optioned, Kohn likely to return to 'pen
KANSAS CITY -- The Angels sent first baseman/outfielder Efren Navarro to Triple-A Salt Lake after Friday's 8-6 loss to the Royals and are expected to call up reliever Michael Kohn on Saturday, a move that would return them to a seven-man bullpen once it's official.
Kohn had a 3.04 ERA in his first 25 games in the Majors, but he had a walk rate of 7.6 and was sent down to the Minors to fine-tune his mechanics. The 28-year-old right-hander, who missed all of 2012 due to Tommy John surgery, pitched 9 1/3 scoreless innings in Triple-A, but he also walked six batters.
Navarro, 28, has batted .297/.350/.432 in 14 games that have spanned two stints in the Majors. The Angels basically chose the right-handed-hitting Grant Green over the left-handed-hitting Navarro, which means they won't have a lefty bat off the bench in games started by Kole Calhoun and Hank Conger.
• Angels reliever Fernando Salas (right shoulder inflammation) played catch for a fourth consecutive day on Friday afternoon, backing up to about 145 feet, and felt good coming out of it. "It's feeling better every day," said Salas, who expects to throw his first bullpen session on Sunday.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.