Angels bullpen implodes in loss to Yankees

Bruno De Witt Zanotto-The Sporting Tribune
The Angels bullpen had a disastrous seventh inning and they fell to the New York Yankees 8-3 on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

ANAHEIM — Starter Patrick Sandoval was effective, but a disastrous showing from the Angels bullpen led to an 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

The bullpen’s seventh inning gave the Yankees five runs on two hits. Adam Cimber walked in two runs and left the bases loaded with just one out before being pulled for Jose Suarez.

On Suarez’s first pitch, MVP candidate Juan Soto hit a bases-clearing triple and gave the Yankees a 7-1 lead. The runs were charged to Cimber, who allowed five earned runs and got one out.

Cimber walked four batters Thursday and two earlier in the home stand against the Cleveland Guardians. On the home stand Cimber walked six in just 1.2 innings.

“Even though Cimber walked three or four, he was only one pitch away from getting out of that inning,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “I’ve seen him many times make that pitch, tonight he just didn’t do it. Maybe we will have to go back to the drawing board and start putting him in situations where he can get his game back together.”

Sandoval left with one of his strongest starts of the season, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings.

“He was out there competing,” Washington said. “That’s a strong lineup to try to get through.

“That was one of his better outings.”

Sandoval’s only blemish was a big one: He served up a sweeper to Aaron Judge in the fourth inning that Judge blasted 433 feet for a two-run home run.

Judge’s home run was his 18th of the season and tied him with Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and Houston’s Kyle Tucker for the most in the major leagues.

“One mistake pitch that he got to, probably shouldn’t have thrown it,” Sandoval said. “I had a lot of confidence in the sweeper.”

Sandoval gave the Angels a chance to win when he left the game trailing, 2-1.

Carlos Rodon (7-2) pitched six innings and allowed just three hits and one run before being pulled in the seventh inning.

“Early in the game he had good zip on his fastball,” Washington said. “He kept us off-balance.

“Once we’d seen him twice we came back out the third time and started getting to him. He’s been throwing the ball well. The last nine games we’ve been facing some real good pitching.”

Ian Hamilton came into the game in relief for the Yankees and the Angels offense showed signs of life. Kevin Pillar hit a RBI double to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.

Willie Calhoun pinch hit for Cole Tucker and hit a RBI single to cut the Yankees lead to 7-3. The two runs were charged to Rodon.

Suarez allowed a double to Gleyber Torres in the eighth inning and a sacrifice fly by Jose Trevino to give the Yankees their eighth run.

Logan O’Hoppe hit his seventh home run of the season in the second inning off Rodon. It was his third home run of the home stand and his second of the series.

The Angels (21-35) open a series at the Seattle Mariners on Friday. Right-hander Jose Soriano (2-5, 3.61 ERA) will start for the Angels against Mariners right-hander Bryan Woo (2-0, 1.66).