mlb

Angels break out of late-inning funk in win over Padres

The Angels score the go-ahead run in the eighth and snap a five-game losing streak on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — For much of the season, the Angels have struggled in close games because of a lack of situational hitting.

The Angels reversed their fortune Monday night and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to beat the San Diego Padres, 2-1, and snap a five-game losing streak.

Jo Adell, who was named American League Defensive Player of the Month by Sports Info Solutions earlier in the day, hit a double off the right-field wall to lead off the eighth inning with the score tied at 1-1.

Adell advanced to third base on a sacrifice fly by Zach Neto and scored on a pinch hit sacrifice fly by Luis Guillorme, giving the Angels a 2-1 lead.

“The situational hitting, especially late in a clutch game has been kind of our kryptonite a little bit,” Adell said. “Especially for me, getting through a little bit of this funk and being able to go the other way and get a pitch to drive.”

Carlos Esteves pitched a clean ninth inning and earned his ninth save, giving the Angels their 22nd win.

Tyler Anderson was again effective for the Angels, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing five hits, one run with two strikeouts. It was his eighth quality start in 12 games this season and his fourth consecutive start where he allowed just one run.

Anderson has had more success against the Padres than any other team in his career. Entering Monday, he had a 6-3 record with a 2.36 ERA in 15 career games against San Diego, his lowest ERA against any opponent he has faced at least six times.

“It’s good to get a little bit deeper in the game than last time,” Anderson said. “Not a lot of swing and miss but fortunately a lot of times they did swing they put it in play at our guys. Great defense tonight and it’s huge.”

The left-hander was aided by some quality defensive plays from Taylor Ward and Zach Neto. In the second inning, Ha-Seong Kim doubled down the left-field line and tried to stretch the hit into a triple. Ward made an excellent throw to Neto who gunned down Kim at third base.

Ward had another outfield assist in the sixth inning when he threw out Jurickson Profar at home plate on a double from Fernando Tatis Jr. Ward is the first Angels outfielder to have multiple outfield assists in one game since Juan Lagares in 2021.

“Well executed. Couldn’t have drawn it up any better,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “With Neto, I’m glad he decided to use the ground instead of trying to get it all the way. He gave O’Hoppe a chance to catch that ball and do what he had to do.”

“It was a solid game. Everything we tried to do tonight, the players executed.”

The only blemish for Anderson was a first-inning solo homer by Manny Machado. It was the first home run by Machado against Anderson in 30 plate appearances.

Anderson left the game with runners on the corners and two outs in the seventh inning. Reliever Hunter Strickland got pinch hitter David Peralta to fly out to center field to end the inning with the game still tied.

“I can’t say enough about the job Strickland came in and did,” Washington said. “And then when Estevez came in, 10 pitches and got us three outs, it was outstanding.”

The Angels scored their first run of the game in the fourth inning when Willie Calhoun drove in Luis Rengifo on a RBI single.

San Diego entered Monday with the best road record in the National League (19-11).

The Angels on Tuesday night will send left-hander Patrick Sandoval (2-8, 5.34 ERA) to face Padres right-hander Adam Mazur, who is making his major league debut. The 23-year old is the No. 5 ranked prospect in the Padres organization, according to MLB.com.

Sandoval is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 10 strikeouts against the Padres.