It seemed as if the Angels had played the Orioles for a week straight. The series that started on Monday afternoon was a rollercoaster ride for the Halos filled with blown leads and comeback wins. Thursday morning’s getaway game for the Angels (who return home to face the AL Central leading Twins in a three-game series starting Friday night) was no different, yet again filled with blown leads and comebacks. The Angels survived scoring two runs in the 8th inning to win 6-5 and move to just one game over .500 despite being four games over .500 just two weeks ago. Pitching yet again was the culprit in dropping two games in Baltimore, and the Angels have now lost six out of their last nine games and are hanging onto a thread in the second-best division in baseball.
Here are three takeaways from this game:
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are back
After a few weeks of struggling at the plate (more so with Trout), both Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani launched homers that helped lead the Angels to victory. This was Trout’s second homer in the last two games and the second of the series for Ohtani, who got the Angels on the board with a solo shot in the first inning as the Angles jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Trout later doubled and got hit by a pitch, and Ohtani had the game winning single in the 8th inning. After a brutal 10/49 stretch with just one home run, Trout has 3 hits and 2 home runs over the last two games and seems to be getting back into a groove going into this weekend. Trout is now hitting .280 with 10 home runs, 23 RBI’s and an OPS of .895 (ranked 21st in baseball). Despite one of the worst starts of his season so far (even though he went 7 innings and got a win), Ohtani has been on fire at the plate over the last four games with 6 hits and 2 home runs as he’s raised his average to .292 with 10 home runs, 31 RBI’s and an OPS of .903 (ranked 17th in baseball).
Tyler Anderson has yet another shaky start, but one the Angels sustained
Tyler Anderson took the mound following his worst start to an MLB season since 2019 and got out of some jams early, most notably one where the bases were loaded with one out and Anderson struck out James McCann and retired Ryan McKenna after that. That gave the Halos confidence as they were up 3-1 going into the 5th inning. But like a lot of previous starts, the third time through the order proved very difficult for Anderson who gave up a two-run home run to Anthony Santander to tie the game at 3. Overall, this wasn’t Anderson’s worst start as he went 5 innings, gave up just 3 runs, allowed 6 hits, and only walked two batters. Anderson is now 1-0 with an ERA of 5.27 and a WHIP of 1.62. He may never be the same pitcher he was for the Dodgers last year where had an ERA of 2.57 and a WHIP of 1.00 in 178.2 innings, but the Angels are hoping he can show some resemblance of that at some point.
Matt Moore and Carlos Estevez are one of the best back of the bullpen tandems in baseball
One of the few constants for this Angels team this season has been the dominance of Matt Moore And Carlos Estevez, who have been one of best set up man and closer combos in baseball this season. Though they can’t be used every night, Moore and Estevez were fresh and available for Thursday’s game following back-to-back losses where they didn’t pitch and it showed. Moore, who has an ERA of 1.23 and 9 holds in 22 innings, pitched a scoreless 8th inning, and Estevez, who has an ERA of 1.35 and 10 saves in 20 innings, got the save in the 9th despite giving up two hits. Though the other relievers haven’t been great yet this season, Moore and Estevez’s dominance have given the Angels stability in close games and a clear opportunity to compete this year.
The Angels now head home to play the Twins in a three-game series starting Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:38 PST.