Angels collapse in the ninth to drop series with Rays, 5-4

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Estevez could not shut the door on the Rays as they came from behind to walk off the rubber match.

Griffin Canning took the mound for the Angels in Tampa Bay hoping to deliver a solid start and help the team secure their first series win in 9 days. He would end up pitching a good start, as the Rays would score just once in the first inning and once in the fourth. Canning’s work kept the game close, and things were all tied up at 2 when he was removed. The Angels would reclaim the lead on a 2-run homer from Jo Adell as they headed to the ninth inning up 4-3. The save attempt from Carlos Estevez would end in disappointing fashion as the Rays struck for 2 runs and walked it off to steal the series.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

Canning performs nicely in the start

The last 3 starts for Griffin Canning have all resulted in losses. He has not seen a win since August 19th in a previous series against the Rays and looked to get back in the win column on Thursday. After allowing some first-inning trouble on an RBI double from Isaac Paredes, he settled down for a couple of innings. He would allow one more run in the bottom of the 4th on a groundout for Jonathan Aranda, but that would be it. Canning pitched through 5 long innings, as he struck out 7 and allowed just 3 hits on 109 pitches. His hard work helped the Angels to keep pace with Tampa Bay and make things interesting. He was unable to get credit for the win but did avoid another loss on the stat sheet and played a solid game that he will be able to build off of going forward. Canning is 7-7 on the season with a 4.39 ERA through 21 starts and done a nice job eating innings when called upon.

Adell hits rare home run in solid game

Jo Adell has not seen nearly as much action this season at the big-league level as he would have hoped. He was just recently activated from the IL on September 19th after recovering from an oblique strain and will look to gather some consistent reps before the season comes to a close. As he found himself back in the lineup, Adell played a nice game and provided the Angels with some clutch hitting.

His lead-taking 2nd home run of the season was part of a 2-3 day in which he was able to reach base 3 times total. Adell’s homer also helped to serve Rays’ reliever Shawn Armstrong with his first allowed runs in over a month. Unfortunately, the bullpen would fail to hold the lead he helped the team grab, but it was an encouraging performance that Adell can use to keep his momentum in a positive direction for the final couple weeks of the 2023 season.

Esteves blows the save to soil a good bullpen day

Prior to the bottom of the ninth inning, the Angels bullpen had done a very nice job backing up Griffin Canning and giving the offense some breathing room to take the lead. Jose Marte would allow a run to score as he pitched the 6th inning, but Jose Soriano and Ben Joyce would both be lights out. The nice work from the bullpen helped the Angels big time as they clung to a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Esteves was called upon as he looked to take care of the final three outs and secure his 31st save of the year. The frame would start off shaky for Esteves as he allowed singles to the first 2 batters to put runners on first and second. A flyout from Curtis Mead would advance the lead runner to third before Isaac Paredes delivered a clutch single that tied the game at 4. Randy Arozarena would strike out swinging for the second out and Josh Lowe would work a walk to set the scene for Manuel Margot. With 2 outs and the bases loaded, Margot delivered the walk-off single to steal the series from the Angels.

The soft looping single managed to find a space in the right-field grass to drop down, and Esteves took his 4th blown save of the season. It was a tough way to go out for the Angels, who found themselves on the brink of a series win before falling just short in frustrating fashion.

The squad will be back at it tomorrow as they head to Minnesota to take on the Twins for 3 games.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. PT.