Mariners look to shut down Luis Rengifo, avoid sweep vs. Angels

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels will host the Seattle Mariners Monday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif., as they try to finish off a four-game sweep.

The Angels beat the Mariners 5-1 on Sunday, getting another big performance from infielder Luis Rengifo.

Rengifo homered twice in Friday’s series opener, hitting a home run from each side of the plate. Sunday, he homered twice again, this time both homers coming from the right side.

The Angels went into the season expecting big things from the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Taylor Ward and they’ve produced. But Rengifo began the season at Triple-A Salt Lake.

He joined the big-league club on May 8 and has been one of the Angels’ most valuable players, not just on the offensive side but also defensively. At the plate, his 15 homers are tied with Jared Walsh for fourth on the team behind Trout (36), Ohtani (34) and Ward (18). He’s third on the team in hits (115) and second in doubles (22).

“He’s been good for us all year,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “He’s been getting a chance to play every day. And I really liked the way he’s been playing defense. … He’s going to get some more run at short.”

Looking toward next season, the Angels (64-82) would hope to have a healthy Anthony Rendon back at third base, leaving second and shortstop to be handled by David Fletcher and Rengifo.

He’s also versatile offensively, as he’s started a game at every spot in the lineup this season, one through nine, and is a switch hitter.

“I’m just trying to see the ball good and hit it,” Rengifo said. “I can’t control where the ball is going. But I feel good. Nevin and the front office and all the guys have given the opportunity to play every day. I’m just trying to have fun and play hard.”

Left-hander Jose Suarez (6-7, 3.84 ERA) will make his 18th start (20th appearance) of the season for the Angels. He is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 career games (eight starts) against the Mariners.

Logan Gilbert (12-6, 3.19) will start for Seattle (80-65), his 30th of the season. He is 3-1 with a 3.95 ERA in five career starts against the Angels. Gilbert, 25, has had a breakout season following his debut season in 2021, when he went 6-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 24 starts.

At 6-foot-6, Gilbert is an imposing presence on the mound, but is mild-mannered off the field, according to Mariners manager Scott Servais.

“He’s about as kindhearted and nice a kid, a young man, you’re going to find,” Servais said. “The way he treats everybody is super, all kinds of respect. But when it’s his day to pitch, he steps out of the dugout to take the mound and it is on and I love that about him.

“I think as he gets more and more experience, you’re only going to see more consistency with that, because he likes to compete. He knows he’s one of the better pitchers in the league.”

–Field Level Media

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