Angels rally late to take down Rays in dramatic fashion

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Clutch hits from Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward helped Los Angeles come from behind to seal the victory.

For the second straight day, late-game drama nearly cost the Angels in Tampa Bay. They held a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eight before Amed Rosario would put the Rays on top with a clutch two-run blast. The Angels found a way to rally, however, as a game-tying single from Anthony Rendon in the top of the ninth would even the game at four. It was initially ruled a two-run single, but upon review Zach Neto was called out trying to score. It wouldn’t end up mattering thanks to another clutch knock from Taylor Ward, whose two-out single put Los Angeles back in front 5-4. They managed to hang on in the bottom of the frame for an impressive comeback W.

Starting the game for the Angels was Reid Detmers, who worked 5.1 innings and allowed one run across seven hits. He did a nice job of setting the tone and shutting down the Tampa Bay lineup throughout the early innings. On the offensive side of things, Mike Trout blasted his 8th homer of the season in the top of the first. Anthony Rendon and Luis Rengifo each had RBI hits as well to help the Angels open up a 3-1 lead by the sixth inning. It was a nice all-around effort and a good display of resiliency for Los Angeles, which avoided a second consecutive loss.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Reid Detmers keeps impressive start to the season rolling

The Angels sent out lefty Reid Detmers on Wednesday afternoon for the start as they looked to take the third game of the series and put a tough loss on Tuesday behind them. The first three starts of the season for the 24-year-old were nothing short of elite, with a 3-0 record and 1.04 ERA telling the story. He had gone 5 innings or more and allowed no more than three hits in each of the starts, coming out of the gates as one of the most dominant pitchers in the league. He kept things rolling against Tampa Bay with another impressive outing. Detmers worked through 5.1 innings, striking out four and allowing two runs total (only one earned). He did allow a season-high 7 hits through 90 pitches but managed to work around any major trouble as he exited the contest with the Angels out in front 3-2.

He remains 3-0 on the year with a ridiculous ERA of 1.19 and a WHIP of 0.97. After posting a 4.48 ERA through 28 starts last season, Detmers has proved early on that this could be his breakout year. Thanks to another solid outing against a Tampa Bay squad that he threw a no-hitter against back in 2022, the Angels managed to stay in the contest and ended up squeaking out the victory in the end.

Trout slugs 8th homer of the year

Mike Trout continued his hot start to the 2024 season on Wednesday as his solo shot helped the Angels get on the board in the first inning. It was his eighth of the season, giving him the most home runs amongst all players in the American League this year. He’s also tied with Marcel Ozuna for the MLB lead. It was a 400-foot blast to right-center off of Rays’ starter Zack Littell that gave Trout his only hit of the ballgame.

It was the first homer allowed by Littell this season and ended up being a significant one as the Angels barely managed to sneak out a 5-4 win. Trout is now hitting .284 this season with his eight home runs and 11 RBIs. He has responded quite well so far to the added pressure of being in a lineup that no longer boasts the star power of Shohei Ohtani, and Los Angeles is now 9-9. That’s good for second place in the AL West, with the squad just half a game behind the defending champion Texas Rangers (10-9) for first place.

Rendon, Ward lift the Angels in the clutch

With Amed Rosario’s 8th-inning blast giving the Rays a late lead, it looked as if the Angels’ bullpen was going to lead to their demise for a second straight day. They were fortunate that Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward had other plans. Struggling Rays’ closer Pete Fairbanks was sent on in the bottom of the ninth with the task of getting the final three outs and sealing a Tampa Bay victory. Heading into the contest, Fairbanks had allowed seven earned runs in his last seven innings total and collected an ERA of 9.00 to start the season. He was able to gather the first out against Luis Rengifo, who led off the inning with a groundout. Nolan Schanuel and Zach Neto would follow with a single and walk to put runners on first and second base. The pair would then come up clutch on the base paths as they stole second and third to set the scene for Anthony Rendon.

His single to left initially brought home the go-ahead run, but it was taken off the board after replay review. Mike Trout was then intentionally walked to bring up Taylor Ward with two outs in a huge scoring opportunity. He came through with the go-ahead base hit to put the Angels up 5-4 and keep the nightmare start to the season for Pete Fairbanks going.

Ward would finish the day 3-5 with 1 RBI, while Rendon went 2-5 with 2 RBI. It was a clutch day for the duo as they came through to save what would have been another frustrating loss for Los Angeles after having the lead for the majority of the game. Ward continues to lead the American League in RBIs with 21, and his 21st in the ninth inning on Wednesday was certainly a big one.

The Angels and Rays will wrap up their series on Thursday morning as the Angels look to finish the series taking three games out of four. Griffin Canning will get the start as he looks to rebound from what has been a very tough start to the year. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Pepiot will take the mound looking to earn his second win.

First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. PT.