Long ball dooms Angels in home opening loss to Red Sox

Brandon Sloter - The Sporting Tribune
The Angels allow five home runs to Red Sox in an 8-6 loss in the team's home opener.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels allowed five home runs in an 8-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox in the Angels home opener Friday.

The sellout crowd got its money’s worth with five ties or lead changes Friday and six home runs between the two teams.

Boston hit three home runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. The Angels took advantage of some defensive miscues from the Red Sox in the sixth inning.

Logan O’Hoppe hit a game-tying grand slam 407 feet to center field, the first grand slam of his career.

“It’s great, put yourself back into the game but we didn’t finish the job,” O’Hoppe said. “If we’re not winning games it doesn’t matter.”

Enmanuel Valdez hit a sacrifice fly to Mike Trout to give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead in the seventh.

Miguel Sano got his first RBI as an Angel in the seventh with a single to left field to tie the game at six.

Cypress High School and Long Beach State alumna Jarren Duran gave the Red Sox their final lead of the game with a home run in the eighth inning against Jose Soriano on a 99 mile per hour fastball.

“The homer to Duran was completely my fault, that was the wrong pitch there,” O’Hoppe said.

Tyler O’Neill hit his second home run of the game for the Red Sox in the ninth to give Boston closer Kenley Jansen an insurance run.

Here are some notes an observations from the home opener at Angels Stadium:

Rough 2nd inning for Canning

Angels starter Griffin Canning allowed four runs in the second inning via three home runs. O’Neill, Tristan Casas and Reese McGuire each homered for the Red Sox, McGuire’s was a two-run blast.

There was chatter on Twitter and the Angels broadcast about the possibility of Canning tipping pitches. Angels manager Ron Washington and Canning appeared to not believe that was the case.

“Too many fastballs center-cut, that’s all,” Washington said. “Against some good hitters that like first pitch fastballs and he gave them first pitch fastballs. I’m ok with what Canning did. After they scored those runs, he got us into the fifth inning and put up zeros.”

“Just better pitch selection maybe or just a little more down with some of the locations would be better,” Canning said. “I threw up a couple zeros after that four-spot so I just tried to salvage it and take us as deep into the game as I could.”

Soriano struggles after dominant first outing

Jose Soriano was dominant in a three-inning relief appearance against the Orioles last Sunday.

He struggled Friday in three innings of work. Soriano allowed three runs, two of them via home runs. He also walked and hit a batter.

The Angels are trying to find a balance with Soriano by giving him multi-inning relief appearances to keep his arm stretched out in case the team needs a starter down the line. That strategy is easy to implement when Soriano is dealing, but harder when he is giving up multiple runs.

“He threw the ball well. He threw some fastballs in some spots against lefties that they were able to get extension on,” Washington said. “I wouldn’t say it wasn’t his night. He gave up some runs but he did a good job.”

Washington proud of team’s resiliency

In recent seasons, when the opponent takes a sizable lead early, the Angels sometimes let the game get away from them.

Friday was a different story for the Angels and they overcame deficits multiple times.

“We couldn’t put a shut down inning from the sixth on. If we could have shut down two of those innings it might have been a different game,” Washington said. “They showed what they are made of. They played nine innings and the game wasn’t over until the ninth inning was over.”

“If you thought about it, I can guarantee a lot of people thought it was over after they put the four runs up there.”

Rendon gets first hit

Anthony Rendon received a mixed reaction from Angel fans when he stepped up to the plate Friday.

After striking out and getting an infield fly out in his first two at bats, the reaction went from mixed to very negative.

Rendon walked in the fifth inning which received some cheers and got his first hit of the season on an infield single in the sixth. The stadium erupted in a somewhat sarcastic manner, but the fans were happy to see Rendon get his first hit July 3 of last season.

Trout enjoying freedom to run more

Trout hasn’t stolen more than two bases since 2011 when he stole 11. That is a dramatic drop off from the 49 he stole as a rookie in 2012 and the 30 he stole in 2016.

The reason Trout hasn’t been as active on the base paths is due to risk of injury. The three time MVP missed 83 games last season and 43 in 2022.

“In the past I’ve been kind of holding back a little bit, because obviously the injury history,” Trout said. “But I just want to go out and play and have fun, play baseball. I won’t steal every night, but stealing bags and doing what I can to get on second.”

Washington met with Trout at his home in New Jersey this offseason and Trout expressed to him that he wanted the freedom to steal more when the game calls for it.

“I don’t want Mike stealing 50 bags because I don’t want him hitting the ground that much, but if Mike decides he wants to get 50 bags and he can get 50, I’m not going to stop him,” Washington said.

Weaver open to return to baseball

Former Angel Jered Weaver threw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday to his son Aden, who is named after the late Nick Adenhart.

Weaver met with reporters before the game and expressed his interest in returning to baseball in some capacity.

“I’m kind of itching to get back,” Weaver said. “I’ve had my time away, spent it with family. I would like to get back in at some point. I miss the game now. I find myself watching a little bit more than I used to. At some point it would be great to get back in, but I’m not going to force myself back in. If somebody reaches out, we’ll see what happens.”

Calling All Angels” notes

The Angels unveiled a new “Calling All Angels” montage Friday that was slightly different from the video that played in the past.

Instead of going through Angels history chronologically, the video is broken up into different sections based on awards like Cy Young winners and MVPs.

The two Angels that were cheered the loudest while the video played were Trout and Vladimir Guerrero.

Drawing the biggest boos from the crowd were owner Arte Moreno and reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani.

This was surprising considering Ohtani received a warm ovation when he appeared for the Dodgers in the Spring Training finale at Angels Stadium.

MLB overturns call and ends Schanuel’s on base streak

MLB overturned a previous single for Nolan Schanuel that he had last Saturday in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The call went from being ruled a hit to an error charged to Orioles pitcher Mike Baumann. That means that Schanuel’s on base streak to begin his career is retroactively ended at 30 games.

Schanuel reached on a walk Friday which would have increased his on base streak to 36 games.

You may ask why reaching on an error doesn’t count towards an on base streak. MLB rules say that an on base streak is only extended by a hit, a walk or a hit by a pitch.