Angels defeat Royals, 3-0, behind stellar start from Patrick Sandoval

Patrick Sandoval threw 7 scoreless innings and Sam Bachman picked up his first career save as the Angels shut out the Royals 3-0 on Friday night

The Angels were coming off of their most impressive series victory all season where they took three out of four games in Texas against the Rangers. They could have gotten comfortable on Friday and continued to celebrate the series win, but instead they looked focused and ready to continue their run at the division title. Though there were a few base-running mistakes that may have cost the them a few runs, the Angels looked dominant and in control on the mound from start to finish, despite giving up four hits and four walks. Patrick Sandoval has struggled with control all season, and Friday afternoon was no different.

However, this time around Sandoval looked more poised, evident when he struck out the side in the 7th inning to end the outing on a high note despite giving up four free bases to walks. Despite giving up 10 hits and 5 earned runs in his last start vs. the Mariners, Sandoval bounced back and gave his best performance of the year. Rookie Sam Bachman has been excellent over the last week and Friday was no different as he recorded the last 6 outs of the game and struck out two batters while giving up no hits. Brandon Drury was responsible for most of the run support an RBI single and double, and Matt Thaiss drew a bases-loaded RBI walk and that was enough run support for Sandoval and Bachman as the Angels won 3-0.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Patrick Sandoval bounces back in a huge way

I know it was against the Royals, a team that has lost 10 games in a row and only has 18 wins on the season, but Sandoval looked like his dominant self most of last year on Friday night. Despite giving up 4 walks and struggling to throw strikes a lot of the game, Sandoval was excellent at minimizing the damages, getting outs and leaving runners in scoring position multiple times (indicative of the 8 base runners the Royals had and ending up with 0 runs).

Sandoval’s dominant outing is an excellent sign moving forward for the Angels, especially considering Sandoval had given up a total of 11 earned runs in his previous two starts and wasn’t reliable for the team. Sandoval entered this year the undisputed second in the rotation starter for the Halos, and until today he hadn’t lived up to that billing.

Sam Bachman dominates again out of the pen

Rookie Sam Bachman was instrumental in the Angels comeback victory Monday against the Rangers throwing 2 innings of shutout ball in extra innings despite there automatically being a runner at 2nd base to start each inning. His fastball and slider mix have been virtually untouchable and as long as he doesn’t walk guys (he walked four guys in his first appearance and hasn’t really struggled with control since), he should continue to flourish out of the bullpen for the Angels.

Drafted with the 9th overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, Bachman was a highly touted prospect that is still expected to become a front-line starter in the Angels rotation at some point with his 4 pitch mix and elite fastball and slider combination (which was on display Friday, especially with his ability to locate his slider anywhere in the zone). In 7 appearances so far this season, Bachman has struck out 10 batters and owns an ERA of just 0.75 in 12 total innings. With Matt Moore and Ben Joyce still on the IL, Bachman has done an excellent job stepping in as a go to guy in later innings and even when the pen is fully healthy, he’s established himself as invaluable so far.

Brandon Drury steps up in big moments

The Angels have been used to Shohei Ohtani providing most of the offense as of late, and even though Ohtani walked twice and hit a scorching double, it was Brandon Drury that came up in big moments on Friday. Twice with runners in scoring position, Drury was able to get the job done with an RBI single in the 1st and an RBI double in the 6th. Overall, Drury’s power numbers have been down as of late, but he is still getting his fair share of singles and doubles.

In the month of June alone, Drury has accumulated 17 hits and boasts an average of .315. With his hot start to June, Drury is now hitting .261 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI’s, and an OPS of .784. Drury is coming off a career year in 2022 for the Reds, where he hit .263 with 28 home runs, 87 RBI’s and an OPS of .812, and lately Angels fans are starting to see that productive player return. Friday proved that Drury doesn’t need to hit the long ball to help win the Angels games, and recently he’s been excelling at hitting singles and doubles by not trying to do too much.

The Angels will play the second game of the series vs. the Royals Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 PST. Griffin Canning is on the mound for the Halos and the Royals have yet to announce their starting pitcher.