The Los Angeles Angels failed to keep things close in their series opener against the Chicago White Sox. However, things were much different in Game 2. Janson Junk recorded eight straight outs to begin the game, Brandon Marsh was the hero, and the Angels grabbed a great win against a top tier opponent.
The Angels struck first, scoring on an RBI infield single by Phil Gosselin in the second inning. Yoan Moncada tied the game in the fourth with a solo home run. Marsh then singled, got to third, and was brought home via a Luis Rengifo sac fly in the sixth to make it 2-1 Angels.
The White Sox quickly tied it in the bottom of the frame. So when Marsh came back to bat in the eighth inning in a tie game, it was a chance for something big. He fell behind in the count, but worked it full before blasting a 100.8 mph fastball over 400 feet to give the Angels the lead, and ultimately the win.
Marsh was ecstatic to have the chance to be the hero during Wednesday’s 3-2 win, according to Ryan Herrera of MLB.com:
“I was talking to a couple of guys about it. It was a first-time moment like this for me, and it was special,” Marsh said. “It was fun. It was fun to be a part of.”
For Joe Maddon, the Marsh home run was a signal of development even as his streakiness continues to be an issue during the early stage of his career.
“My take that I’ve seen so far, yeah, he has some swing and miss in him, but he’ll get over that,” Maddon said. “When he makes contact, it’s normally at really high RPMs off the bat, and that’s what you saw. He had a good night. He was seeing the ball well, he had good at-bats, he found the barrel and I think he’ll eventually get beyond that.
“For now, it’s part of his development. The guy’s not had that many at-bats this year.”
Wednesday marked Marsh’s 49th start of the season in center field. He already has six games with three or more hits, including the win against the White Sox. His slash line sits at a respectable .267/.328/.386 in 54 total games.
The home run also gave Marsh a record this season. Michael Kopech’s 100.8 mph fastball was the hardest thrown pitch hit for a home run in the AL this season. With just a couple weeks left in the season, it’s a record that could very easily hold.
Marsh now has plenty to work off of when he starts his offseason training regimen. Heading into next season, he figures to be a huge part of the Angels plans.
Packy Naughton struggles in loss to White Sox
On Tuesday, the Angels saw the first difficult start of Packy Naughton’s career. He had actually composed himself extremely well during his first three starts of the season, but finally lacked execution in Chicago.
The Angels lost the series opener 9-3, but tied the series on Wednesday night behind Junk.