Angels end homestand in style with win over Cardinals

The Angels avoid the sweep by beating the Cardinals 7-2 Wednesday.

ANAHEIM — Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals, Angels manager Ron Washington said he would like to see more wins a the team progresses.

The Angels gave him his wish and beat the Cardinals 7-2 to finish the homestand with a 2-5 record.

It was one of the more complete wins of the season where the hitting and pitching both delivered in the same game.

Griffin Canning had his third consecutive solid outing and notched his first win since April 23. He allowed just one run in six innings with five hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

“Just trying to focus on being on the attack, me vs. the hitter,” Canning said. “Just trying to force contact and not shy away from it.”

The only blemish for Canning was a solo home run he allowed to Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth inning.

On the homestand, Canning allowed one run in 11.2 innings of work with eight hits and eight strikeouts.

“He did an outstanding job pounding the strike zone and had his offspeed stuff working,” Washington said. “He’s really pitching right now. He’s finally starting to command the baseball.”

The Angels offense gave Canning some breathing room with four runs in the first inning. Nolan Schanuel hit his first career leadoff home run 359 feet to right field to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.

It was the first leadoff home run for the Angels since Mike Trout homered against the Orioles on April 23. The home run was the fourth for Schanuel this season.

Willie Calhoun hit a RBI double to right field to drive in Luis Guillorme and advanced to third on an errant throw to home plate. He scored on an infield single by Kevin Pillar. Pillar has 14 RBIs through his first 10 games as an Angel.

He later scored on a wild pitch by Lance Lynn to give the Angels a 4-0 lead after one inning.

Zach Neto and Taylor Ward each hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively to give the Angels a 6-1 lead.

After Neto’s home run, he sat next to Washington and the two shared some laughs.

“When I walked in this morning, before I got in for early work and defense and I told him, ‘guess who just got here. Big papa,'” Neto said. “We want to see smiles on each other’s faces. Whether we win or lose, keep coming to work and making it fun.”

The home run was the eighth of the season for Ward and his first since April 24. He leads the team with 26 RBIs.

Mickey Moniak hit a run-scoring single to score Calhoun in the seventh to extend the lead. Calhoun went 3-4 with a pair of doubles Wednesday.

The Angels had 14 hits Wednesday, their most in a game since May 7 against the Pirates.

“We just kept the line going from top to bottom,” Neto said. “Today was a good day to step forward and we took that step together. It wasn’t just one person in the lineup or one person on the mound. It was all of us.”

The Angels bullpen lived by the motto, “bend, but don’t break” Wednesday. Matt Moore walked two consecutive hitters in the seventh before getting Goldschmidt to weakly ground out to escape the inning unscathed.

Luis Garcia allowed three hits and a run in the eighth before Carlos Estevez pitched a clean ninth inning in a non-save situation.

“The process leads you to your purpose and our purpose is to be successful,” Washington said. “If we can stay in the process, weather the storm and keep getting better, good things are going to happen.”

Up Next

The Angels have an off day Thursday before opening a three game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

Tyler Anderson will start for the Angels against former Angel Andrew Heaney.

Heaney has faced the Angels three times in his career and made one start against his former club. He allowed one run in 3.2 innings of work with four walks and five strikeouts for the Rangers against the Angels on June 14 of 2023.