Los Angeles Angels starter Patrick Sandoval pitched over five innings without allowing a walk for just the second time in his career. In total, he gave up two runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings on Wednesday against the Cleveland Guardians, with the Angels holding a 3-2 lead on his departure.
However, things quickly turned in favor of the Guardians. They scored a run off of Jimmy Herget in the seventh inning to tie the game 3-3. Then, with veteran Ryan Tepera on the mound, Amed Rosario hit a single and Jose Ramirez followed it with a two-run home run.
In the end, the Angels lost 5-3, finalizing a sweep and their 10th consecutive loss at Progressive Field. Even still, Sandoval walked away with a positive outlook on what happened in the series finale, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I felt good,” Sandoval said. “Threw my stuff through the zone. Let them ball put the ball in play and make our defense make plays.”
With Tepera being the one who blew the lead, Angels interim manager Phil Nevin stood behind the quality reliever and defended the decision to turn to him with the game knotted up.
“You’ve got a veteran pitcher on the mound, and he just missed his spot,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “I trust Tep. That’s why he was out there.”
The Angels are no stranger to losing a late lead this season. They are among the MLB leaders in blown saves, and although Wednesday doesn’t qualify as such, they have plenty of games like that as well in 2022.
Sandoval was not perfect — seven hits in 5.1 innings continues to show issues with keeping the bases clean — but he did enough to let the Angels have a lead when he left the game. Mickey Moniak homered and Mike Trout had an RBI single to account for the three runs.
But pitching is not completely to blame, as the Halos only managed three runs despite having 10 hits. As a team, they were 2-for-14 with runners on base including two double plays.
Taylor Ward feeling back to full strength
At one point this season, Taylor Ward was legitimately in the MVP conversation. However, when he crashed into a wall in the outfield on May 20, his numbers took a nosedive. It took him nearly three months to get back to what he was doing at the beginning of the year.
Finally, he feels back to full strength, and the numbers are showing it as well.