Angels winning streak comes to an end against Seattle

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Outside of Shohei Ohtani’s 18th home run, the Halos offense struggled to put runs on the board, losing it to the Mariners, 6-2, on Saturday night.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angel Stadium was decked out in garland, twinkling lights and an array of brightly-colored ornaments on Saturday night for their Christmas in June celebration, but even with all the holiday cheer and Shohei Ohtani’s two-run homer, it wasn’t enough to deliver the Halos a victory against the Seattle Mariners. 

They dropped the second game of the series, 6-2, putting an abrupt end to their five-game winning streak. 

From bullpen improvement to roster moves and injury updates, here are three takeaways from the loss: 

Halos Put an End to Their Hot Streak

Going into tonight’s game, the Angels had matched their longest win streak of the season with five games, but a quiet offense left the team with only five hits.

The only two runs on the board were courtesy of Ohtani who recorded his 18th home run of the season — a 400-foot drive into right field. He now leads the Angels in home runs, and he is tied for third with Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy for most home runs in MLB. Aaron Judge currently holds the No. 2 spot with 19, and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has 22 home runs in the No. 1 spot.

Behind Ohtani’s hit, the Angels came the closest to tying the score in the fifth inning when Gio Urshela recorded a hit, and Mickey Moniak followed suit with a double driven into right field. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Ohtani represented the tying run at the plate. 

He had a full count when home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called the third strike on a ball thrown outside the zone in the lower right corner. Manager Phil Nevin was ejected shortly after the call was made.

There’s Movement on the Roster

The team’s second game of the series was preceded by a wave of roster activity. 

Hunter Renfroe was back in the lineup after being activated from the paternity list, which allowed Jo Adell to be optioned to Triple-A. Adell’s stay in Anaheim was short, but during his first game with the Angels on Thursday, he helped the team secure a 3-1 victory against the Chicago Cubs with a home run that left his bat at 117.2 mph and flew 451 feet — the hardest-hit ball by an Angel this season. 

Ben Joyce left the game early on Friday night after feeling numbness in his right arm and hand. An MRI on Saturday confirmed that the diagnosis was ulnar neuritis, according to Angels PR. 

He was placed on the 15-day IL, but Nevin said after the game that the ligament is intact, and it’s a nerve issue. Joyce said that he was happy with the news. 

“I mean, anytime you get pulled out of the game, it’s not a good feeling, and the thoughts go through your head. I’ve had Tommy John before, so that was a thought in my head. But hearing the news, it was good news,” he said.

“When he feels better and can throw, he’s going to throw. So like I said, this really is the best possible news we could have got from it,” said Nevin. 

To fill in for Joyce, the Angels called up 30-year-old right handed reliever, Gerardo Reyes, from Triple-A. Originally signed by the Angels in 2020, Reyes pitched two games with the team last season, earning a 4.50 ERA with three hits, one run, three walks and no strikeouts over two innings pitched. 

Nevin said he’s received good reports about Reyes’ progress in Triple-A, and although other names were mentioned in the conversation about who to bring up including Andrew Wantz and Jimmy Herget, he felt that Reyes was the team’s best choice. 

“At the end of the day, he’s been throwing the best of all the relievers down there in Triple-A right now. This was the time to grab him,” said Nevin before the game. 

In Salt Lake, Reyes pitched 19 games, earning a 2-2 record with a 4.64 ERA. Throughout 21.1 innings pitched in relief, he recorded 22 hits, 15 runs, 11 walks and 32 strikeouts. 

Nevin said that Reyes’ velocity has been hitting the upper 90s: “He’s been throwing hard, throwing a lot of strikes and landing the slider in the zone. He’s always had a big arm, but this has been the most consistent strikes he’s thrown in a long time.” 

The Bullpen Shows Promise

The Angels bullpen has seen its fair share of success over the past month. Carlos Estévez recorded his career-high 17th save on Friday night against Seattle, and Chris Devenski pitched 10 scoreless innings over his last eight games, stranding all 14 of the runners he inherited. Before tonight’s game, the bullpen had pitched 18.1 innings and allowed one run, earning a .49 ERA. 

Despite tonight’s loss, the bullpen continued to show promise, allowing only one run after Patrick Sandoval struggled through five innings and gave up 10 hits and five runs.

“I think I might have just got a little heavy with some pitches and some counts to some hitters. Too many looks and just not the quality that I was looking for,” said Sandoval after tonight’s loss. “No walks and eight strikeouts. If you tell me I’m going to get that in game, usually it’s good results, but tough luck today.”

Sandoval handed the game off to Aaron Loup, who threw a scoreless sixth inning, allowing two hits and recording two strikeouts. 

Reyes made his Angels season debut tonight in the seventh, allowing one run on two hits. Tucker Davidson, who struggled in his last start against the Chicago White Sox on May 31, looked much improved today, throwing two scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.