Angels drop rubber match to Red Sox in frustrating fashion

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles rally attempt came up flat as the Angels dropped the final two games of the series.

The Angels managed to stay in it thanks to a home run from Brandon Drury and a fielder’s choice groundout from Luis Rengifo. The Red Sox would reclaim a lead later in the contest thanks to a Pablo Reyes double and a two-run blast from Masataka Yoshida. Los Angeles managed to find themselves in a 5-3 contest as they headed to the top of the ninth, where they quickly loaded the bases with nobody out.

A sacrifice fly from Anthony Rendon would make it 5-4, but the next two batters struck out to end the game in frustrating fashion. With a comeback on the doorstep, the Angels fell 5-4 and dropped their third consecutive series.

Here are three takeaways:

Tyler Anderson allows first earned runs of the year

It was a brilliant start to 2024 for Angels’ lefty Tyler Anderson, who had gone seven scoreless innings in each of his first two starts to begin the season. He looked to keep his momentum rolling against the Boston Red Sox as he toed the rubber in a big game. Anderson saw Boston once in 2023 where he pitched six innings and allowed just one run in a nice victory. After striking out Jaren Duran and getting Pablo Reyes to ground out for the first two outs of the game on Sunday morning, it looked like he was off to another promising start. However, Tyler O’Neill and Triston Casas would then crank back-to-back homers with two outs to get the Red Sox on the board. The home run for O’Neill was already his seventh this season, tying him for first place in the MLB alongside Atlanta’s Marcel Ozuna. Anderson would manage to settle down for the next few innings as he allowed just one hit from frames 2-4. His afternoon eventually came to an end in the middle of the fifth inning after Pablo Reyes smacked a double off the wall in left-center to give Boston a 3-2 lead. The final line for Anderson saw him pitch 4.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out four. His ERA on the season still sits at an impressive 1.47, but unfortunately, his team came up short as he took his first loss of the year.

Promising ninth-inning rally ends in disappointment for Angels

For the second consecutive day, the Angels seemed to have trouble coming up with hits in crunch time. Los Angeles was forced to battle from behind all afternoon long as they reached the top of the ninth looking at a 5-3 deficit. The leadoff man, Logan O’Hoppe, was hit by a pitch to get the Halos their first baserunner of the frame. Mickey Moniak would then step up and follow with a single to shallow center that put runners on first and second. The rally kept on moving with Zach Neto’s second walk of the day as the Angeles managed to load the bases with nobody out. It was an absolutely golden opportunity to show some fight and put a few huge runs on the board to potentially take the series. The next batter, Anthony Rendon, would fly out to deep center as O’Hoppe came in to score and everybody else moved up a base. With runners on second and third, Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout were due up to try and hand Kenley Jansen a blown save. Both men would strike out swinging to end the ballgame as Trout finished the series going 2-13 at the plate.

It was a very frustrating way to fall short as yet another opportunity to bring runners home went and passed with no success. The team went a combined 1-10 with runners in scoring position on Sunday and will head to Tampa Bay eager to break out of their slump.

Rendon continues to show signs of improvement

If it weren’t for the brutal 0-21 stretch that Halos third basemen Anthony Rendon endured to begin the season, his batting average would most likely look much more appealing than .231. Since breaking out of the hitless streak, Rendon has gone 12-29 (.414 average) and shown signs of significant improvement. After going 2-5 and 2-4 in the first pair of games to open the series, he once again had a nice afternoon. His 2-3 day at the plate included an RBI on his sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth that got the Angels within a run of tying the ballgame. Rendon has certainly taken quite a bit of heat from fans since joining Los Angeles back in 2020, as he has failed to appear in more than 58 games in a single season as an Angel. Last year, he played in just 43 as he hit .236 with just two home runs. The tough stretch to begin the year had those watching at home thinking that it would once again be another nightmare year for Rendon. However, credit must be given to the 33-year-old as he has fought to turn things around lately. While the season is certainly still young, it’s nice to see him showing signs of life once again and grabbing a few multi-hit games in a row. With Los Angeles having dropped six out of their last nine games, another nice series from Rendon in Tampa Bay would definitely help their chances of turning things around.

The Angels head to Tampa Bay on Monday afternoon as they begin a four-game set with the Rays at Tropicana Field. Patrick Sandoval will get the start for Los Angeles as Tampa Bay sends out Zach Eflin to try and take care of business for the Rays.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:50 p.m. PT.