Pirates hit grand slam to give Angels third straight loss

Tyler Anderson allowed a grand slam and the Pirates handed the Angels their third consecutive loss.

PITTSBURGH — With the Angels offense struggling so badly, all it took was one mistake by Tyler Anderson to give the Angels their third straight loss.

The mistake came in the third inning via a grand slam from Edward Olivares and the Angels lost 4-1 Monday.

Anderson was unblemished for the rest of his 6.1 inning start with six hits and five strikeouts.

Unfortunately for Anderson and the rest of the Angels pitching staff, the team’s bats have been quiet and the pitchers have little room for error.

Monday was the third straight game in which the Angels have only scored one run.

This time the lone run was a solo home run from Zach Neto in the sixth inning. The home run was his third of the season and his thirteenth RBI which is the third most on the team.

It’s a very small sample size, but the Angels have gotten off to a rough start in May which is reflective of the team’s 1-4 record.

Jo Adell, who was arguably the Angels best hitter in April, is 0-15 so far in May with an OPS of .111. Taylor Ward, who briefly was near the top of the American League in runs batted in, has just a .566 OPS and Logan O’Hoppe is just 1-10.

This all comes at an inopportune time for the Angels because the starting pitching has actually improved recently. Anderson, Griffin Canning, Jose Soriano and Patrick Sandoval all had decent starts this past week and the Angels have just one win to show for it.

Another negative aspect of the Angels performance lately has been the team getting key outs on the base paths. Matt Thaiss was thrown out at home plate Sunday and Nolan Schanuel was also thrown out at the plate on Monday.

Schanuel’s was more egregious because it was the first out of the fourth inning and prevented a potential rally for the Angels.

Third base coach Eric Young Jr. sent Schanuel home, but Schanuel took the blame after the game.

“One hundred percent my mistake,” Schanuel told media after the game. “Baseball 101. Kind of just a mess up moment.”

If Schanuel had stayed at third base, the Angels would have had two runners in scoring position with no outs and the heart of the batting order coming up.

There were a few positives from the game Monday. Mickey Moniak continued his hot start to the month with two hits including a double. He has an OPS of .916 this month which is far better than his .434 OPS in April.

Anderson’s deep outing was able to preserve the bullpen. Hunter Strickland threw 1.2 perfect innings Monday and the Angels should have every relief pitcher available for Tuesday’s game.

Sandoval will get the start for the Angels against Quinn Priester and the Pirates.