7:05 PM ET, April 21, 2014
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
And after delivering a tiebreaking three-run double as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning to help Trout's Los Angeles Angels beat Harper's Washington Nationals 4-2 Friday, the 41-year-old Ibanez was showered with a particular nickname when he returned to the dugout.
"After he got that hit, we were calling him `Viejo,' -- `Old' in Spanish," Trout said with a smile.
Ibanez might be, um, much more experienced than many of his teammates, but he happens to be leading the Angels this season with 15 RBIs.
"These guys make me feel young," he said about his teammates with the Angels, his fifth club in a 19-year career. "And I have five kids at home. They're 12 and under, and I'm the biggest kid in the house, really. I feel right at home around these guys who are 22, 24, 25 years old. They definitely keep you young."
He came through on a night that Trout and Harper went a combined 2 for 8 with zero runs or RBIs, and Albert Pujols went 0 for 5, staying on 498 homers.
The 22-year-old Trout, the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and a two-time MVP runner-up, was 2 for 5 with a pair of singles. The 21-year-old Harper, the 2012 NL rookie honoree, was 0 for 3 with a walk. The two outfielders became pals while teammates in the Arizona Fall League in 2011 and chatted with each other before the game.
Neither recent first-round pick in the amateur draft -- Trout was No. 25 overall in 2009, Harper was No. 1 a year later -- was much of a factor once play began, though. Instead, all eyes were on Ibanez, taken in the 36th round in 1992.
"He's been around the block," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Fernando Salas (1-0) won with a hitless seventh.
The Nationals led 1-0 entering the eighth, when they brought in reliever Tyler Clippard (1-2). Pujols led off and reached on the first of shortstop Ian Desmond's two errors in the inning. Later, Erick Aybar's third hit of the night scored Pujols to even it.
After Clippard walked Chris Iannetta to load the bases -- "The biggest thing that hurt me," the reliever said -- the lefty-hitting Ibanez came up.
"Everybody likes being up in that spot," said Ibanez, the second-oldest player in the majors, behind Cleveland's Jason Giambi, 43. "That's what you play for, that's what you compete for -- to try to be up in that spot -- since you were a kid in the backyard playing."
Nationals manager Matt Williams did not have a lefty reliever ready to go, in anticipation of Ibanez being used there, because he wanted Clippard to get through that inning.
"Clip's been the eighth-inning guy here for a long time," Williams said. "Certainly (his) track record indicates that he's good against lefties. He's just as effective against left-handers as he is right-handers. So I want to stay with him there."
Ibanez, without a hit in his previous 11 at-bats, connected on a changeup, Clippard's specialty.
"It is a pitch I'm getting hurt on," Clippard said, and wondered aloud about whether he's tipping his pitches to opponents.
Angels 3B David Freese, who is hitting .143 with a .197 on-base percentage, was out of the starting lineup and struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh. ... The Angels recalled LHP Nick Maronde from Triple-A Salt Lake. He fills the roster spot opened up when the Angels optioned RHP Josh Wall to Salt Lake on Sunday.
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 21: Members of the Los Angeles Angels stretch before start of their game against the...(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|4th||A LaRoche grounded into fielder's choice to second, D Span scored, J Werth out at second, B Harper to third.||0||1|
|8th||E Aybar singled to right, A Pujols scored, H Kendrick to second.||1||1|
|8th||R Ibanez doubled to deep left center, H Kendrick, E Aybar and C Iannetta scored, R Ibanez to third on throwing error by shortstop I Desmond.||4||1|
|9th||I Desmond homered to center (462 feet).||4||2|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.|
|Attendance||24,371 (58.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||67 degrees, clear|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Jordan Baker, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Paul Emmel, Third Base - Toby Basner|
From Elias: One way to get Bryce Harper and Mike Trout on a full screen today from Elias... The duo is already among the 6 players to have won the rookie of the year award AND appeared in multiple All-Star games before their 22nd birthday. Among the others, Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson are hall of famers.[+]
Ian Desmond's home run in the bottom of the 9th on Monday was calculated at 462 feet. It is the second-longest home run hit in the history of Nationals Park.[+]
Ian Desmond's home run (462 feet) was the longest of Desmond's career, which started in 2009. It is also tied for the 2nd-longest home run hit by a shortstop since tracking began in 2006.[+]
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