In the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, infielder Brandon Drury powered their offense during multiple points of the game.
Drury tallied two home runs, his first of which came in the second inning, when Rays right-hander Aaron Civale served up a three-run shot, extending the lead. He would later add another in the sixth inning, bringing his RBI total to five on the day.
It was Drury’s first multi-homer game since June 17, and his third, two homer performance of the year. The 31-year-old broke out last season with the Cincinnati Reds with his extra-base potential, and he’s continued to do so with 52 extra-base hits in 116 games.
His continued work through the season’s hurdles, and a battle with a shoulder issue in July, earned the eyes of many around the Angels, per Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“He can hit,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “He can really hit. The thing with him right now is, you’re kind of being asked to carry the load with everybody gone. It’s not really the way he runs. You put some good hitters around him, he’s gonna put up big and bigger numbers. Not in a bad way. He’s such a great complementary player to some really big names we have here that are supposed to be in here. He’s putting up some huge numbers without that and it’s pretty impressive.”
Drury has posted a .257/.304/.484 slash in 444 at-bats thus far, and with a few years left with the Angels, his ability to move around the infield is a valuable piece to the club. He’s been impressive for Nevin’s group, and as the skipper noted, a large chunk of the everyday guys are now gone.
That level of continuity they had early on in the year allowed him to jump out to an All-Star level of production, but the shoulder injury took him out of that talk. However, his first half numbers were a solid representation of what he’s capable of.
Angels brass believes Anthony Rendon is still key to team success
Among the players to miss a significant amount of time is Anthony Rendon, headlining much of the injury plagued roster.
Rendon was placed on the 10-day injured list in May with a left groin strain. He returned after three weeks, but went back on the IL because of a bruised left wrist in June.
After a short stint, he fouled a pitch off his leg and hasn’t appeared since, but Angels general manager Perry Minasian downplayed overall issues, citing his importance to the team.
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