Anthony Rendon has started his MLBrun with a new team with a bang…
The 29-year-old Mexican American professional baseball player, who helped the Washington Nationals win the World Series last year, left his first game in a new uniform with a 1.000 batting average.
Rendon went 2-for-2 in his spring training debut with the Los Angeles Angels, driving in a run and scoring one Tuesday during a 7-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Back from spending time with his wife and newborn child, the MLB All-Starthird baseman played three innings on the field.
“It’s inevitable. You’ve got to get out there every day to get comfortable,” Rendon said. “So day one, you take in stride and take it slow, too. Not try to get too crazy.”
Rendon, who signed a $245 million, seven-year contract as a free agent in December, was just one of the big-name Angels players to play for the first time this February. He batted third, between AL MVP Mike Troutand designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, the two-way star from Japan who also pitches.
Outfielder Justin Uptonand first baseman Albert Pujolsalso were in the lineup for the first time.
“Definitely exciting. Just trying to see how it’s going to pan out throughout the year,” Rendon said. “Kind of getting used to each other and getting in the dugout and seeing what guys’ routines are, and you don’t want to get in anybody’s way at all.”
The major league leader in RBI last season, Rendon has hit .301 or better the past three seasons, with two 100-RBI campaigns. He has totaled 83 home runs in that span, including a career-high 34 last season.
Last October, his home run off Zack Greinkebegan Washington’s late rally in Game 7 at Houston for the championship.
“Right now he’s one of the better clutch hitters in the game. He almost 100 percent of the time works a great at-bat,” Angels manager Joe Maddonsaid. “He is one of those dudes that can handle good pitching well and you can’t say that about everybody.”
Rendon heard the cheers from the small crowd at Tempe Diablo Stadiumas he walked up for his first at-bat as an Angel in the bottom of the first inning. He worked the count to 3-and-2 before lining a single to left field, moving Trout to second base.
Rendon scored easily from second base on Pujols’ two-out, bases-loaded single.
In the second, Rendon picked up his first RBI wearing Angels red when he sliced a two-out, opposite-field single to right field to drive in David Fletcher.