Angels defeat White Sox on walk-off 

The Angels scrambled to claim a win in their series opener against the Chicago White Sox.

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Mike Trout sprinted and scored from third base on a wild pitch to lift the Angels to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday. It was the team’s second walk-off win this season, and both have come on wild pitches. 

White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer threw a sweeper to Angels new addition Mike Moustakas that was low and in the dirt. When White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal failed to get in front of it, Trout ran past and scored. However, the game didn’t start so smoothly for Trout as he struck out in his first three at-bats. He went on to start out the ninth with a walk, and Shohei Ohtani followed suit right after. They then followed with a double steal before closing out the night, 2-1. 

Here are three takeaways from Monday’s game:

Angels bats struggle behind solid pitching

Reid Detmers must have experienced some form of déjà vu early in Monday’s win. About one week ago, Detmers dominated the mound against the Dodgers, allowing no runs on just two hits and one walk. Despite that notable performance last Tuesday, the Angels did not score one run and instead lost 2-0. For most innings, Monday was merely an echo of that. While Detmers threw seven innings to only allow two hits, one run and two walks from Chicago, the Angels hardly produced any momentum (outside of the Ohtani homer in the fourth) and barely came out with a win late in the game. Now, Detmers has a 3.77 ERA this season. Collectively, the Angels starters have a 3.12 ERA since June 5. However, the team’s offense seems to be barely sliding by, and Monday’s game against the White Sox, who are well below .500, was a clear sign of that.  

New acquisitions must make up for costly injuries

General manager Perry Minasian made all the right moves when recently acquiring Eduardo Escobar from the Mets and Moustakas from the Rockies. On Friday, the Angels traded two pitching prospects for Escobar in an effort to fill a slot in the infield. Moustakas was acquired with that same reason – to provide depth to a dwindling infield thanks to injuries. With Rendon and Gio Urshela out, Escobar and Moustakas have the potential to play key roles in the infield. Both players can play first and second while keeping an aggressive bat on offense. 

Escobar was not present for Monday’s win as he is set to take his citizenship test tomorrow in Florida. However, Moustakas made his debut with the team at first base against the White Sox. Moustakas seemed to fit the defensive role comfortably while going 1 for 3 at the plate.

Injury updates present optimistic returns 

Zach Neto, Logan O’ Hoppe, Anthony Rendon and Ben Joyce have certainly made their missing presences felt on the field, but seem on track for a hopeful comeback. Rookie shortstop and top prospect Neto has been out with an oblique strain, but spoke with reporters before Monday’s series opener. According to Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register, Neto feels “a good soreness” and is hoping to start some light throwing on Friday. 

Logan O’Hoppe (torn labrum) is a few months into his rehabilitation process and according to Fletcher O’Hoppe is “shocked with how little pain [he’s] been in”. O’Hoppe could still serve as a vital piece later this season, but there is no rush on his return.

Meanwhile, Joyce and Rendon both showed up to the field today for some baseball work. Joyce (ulnar neuritis) caught inside the cage for the first time since he has been on the IL. Rendon (bruised wrist) caught ground balls on Monday. According to Phil Nevin, there is no set date for Rendon’s return as he told reporters, “I think we’re close.” 

Up next, the Halos will continue to defend the Big A against Chicago this week in their four-game series. Game two is set for Tuesday at 6:38 p.m.