Anderson, Trout lift Angels past Rays

Brandon Sloter- The Sporting Tribune
Tyler Anderson was on top of his game and Mike Trout continued his hot streak as the Angels beat the Rays 7-1 on Monday night.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels leaned on Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Tyler Anderson for a 7-1 victory over the Rays on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

The Angels dominated the Rays from start to finish, an about-face from their performance Sunday, when they lost 12-1 to the Red Sox — a game in which Miguel Sano had to record the final out.

Mike Trout hit his first triple and fifth home run Tuesday night, leading off the scoring. His first inning triple drove in Anthony Rendon (who hit a single to start off the game) and his third inning homer was a solo shot to center that sailed 422 feet.

Trout added a solo home-run in the eighth inning and hit a single in the bottom of the inning, finishing a double shy of the cycle.

Angels manager Ron Washington said Trout’s consistency is helping him this season,

“Awesome at-bats, triple down right-field line, hitting all around the field,” Washington said. “It’s coming around. We’re looking for that consistency for a 162-game championship season”

Thought he’s been off to a scorching start, Trout only has six RBIs.

Tyler Anderson tossed seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk. He has back-to-back quality starts to the open the season and a scoreless streak of 14 innings.

Also, he became the first Angels pitcher to start a season with two straight games of seven-plus shutout innings pitched.

Anderson’s control was excellent as he got in front of batters and created soft contact the entire outing. It worth noting last season he finished with a 5.43 ERA in 141 innings pitched despite coming off a career-year in 2022 with the Dodgers.

Anderson was asked what the difference was between last year and this year.

“Go pitch to pitch try to execute,” he said. “I don’t get a lot of strikeouts, guys have been in good positions and have made adjustments [in the field].

“Last year my walks were huge and fastball command. My whole goal in the offseason was pitching with my fastball and challenging guys in the zone”

Anthony Rendon started off the year 0-for-20, but he has a hit in his last four games. He got three hits Monday night and he also hit another ball to the warning track. Washington said Rendon is making quick adjustments.

“Rendon is a hands hitter,” Washington said. “A hands hitter had to be able to stay behind the ball. Earlier he was behind the ball but late, more comfortable he’s become with his hands, and it all started with his first hit.

“All of a sudden he got a dunker and it opened up the floodgates”.

Hunter Strickland was released by the Reds last May and he had made peace the possibility of retirement. However, he said he started spending time with family and coaching kids and it lit a fire in him to continue his career.

“The last year has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” Strickland said after pitching the ninth inning Monday. “Got released by the Reds, went home with my family … thought I was done.

“I view the game differently now. I’m not trying to force results”

Strickland gave up three hits and one run on 20 pitches, clocking his fastball at 94.8 and his slider at 85.1. He will reside in the bullpen for now as the team is deals with injuries.

The Angels also called up Carson Fulmer, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher who has also had some MLB success. Fulmer last pitched in the majors with in 2021, tossing 25 2/3 innings with an ERA of 6.66.

Zach Plesac was one of the few arms the Angels signed in free agency that had starting pitching experience, was designated for assignment Monday. The Right-hander had a decent tenure in Cleveland (26-27, 4.20 ERA), but his stuff hasn’t been the same over the last few years.

In 2022, Plesac’s average velocity on the pitch was 91.9 and that fell to 90.9 last season. In two starts for the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, Plesac has thrown 9 2/3 innings and has given up six hits and five runs, which is one of the reasons why he was DFA’D.

Chase Silseth went on the 15-day injured list after feeling elbow discomfort through his postgame drills Sunday following his start. He underwent an MRI, but the results have yet to be revealed.

Guillo Zuniga has a right pectoral strain and also is headed to the 15-day injured list.

The Angels will play the second game of this series at 6:38 p.m. Tuesday with Patrick Sandoval (1-1, 6.15 ERA) set to pitch against Aaron Civale (1-1, 1.50).

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