Mike Trout back in Angels lineup following death of brother-in-law

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Saturday, August 25, 2018
ESPN

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Troutwas back in the lineup for the first time since the death of his brother-in-law.

Trout started Friday night at home against Houston, batting third and playing center field in a 9-3 loss to the Astros. He tripled on the first pitch in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-3 with a walk.

It was Trout's first game since Aug. 1. He already was on the disabled list with a wrist injury when brother-in-law Aaron Cox died last week at age 24.

Trout wore the jersey "A. Cox" on Friday as part of MLB Players Weekend and in honor of his late brother-in-law. Trout was originally in the lineup card as "KIIIIIID."

There was a moment of silence before the game for Cox, who was drafted by the Angels and had recently retired before his death.

"It was good to get back on the field,'' Trout said. "It was tough. I was fighting emotions tonight. Obviously, coming back yesterday I was emotionally drained the last couple of days.''

Asked if this was the toughest game of his career, Trout said: "It was. My brother came out here, but the family is back home. Every so often, you can't help but think about it. He was a friend of mine and obviously my brother-in-law, but we were really close."

Cox was the brother of Trout's wife, Jessica. No cause of death has been given for Cox, who retired from baseball this month after pitching three seasons in the Angels' organization.

Trout was with his family in New Jersey after the death. He continued to work out there by running, lifting, throwing and swinging off a tee.

On Thursday, a day off for the Angels, Trout had a workout at Angel Stadium. He took 12 at-bats against minor league pitchers.

"Physically, he's ready to go. He wants to get back out there. It will be an emotional burden he and his family will carry. I think he's definitely ready to come back and play baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Asked if baseball would be a refuge of sorts for Trout, Scioscia said: "To a certain extent. It's not a sanctuary. I think your routine helps you to get through stuff. There's always that spot when you've lost people. Any time you sit back and reflect, in the dugout or out on the field, it's always with you."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.