Angels Series Preview: L.A. Looks For Series Win With Jose Suarez
Jose Suarez, 2021 Season
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a sweep of the Miami Marlins, the Los Angels Angels began a seven-game roadtrip in Texas that starts with a four-game set against the Rangers.

Although the Angels will be without David Fletcher for the series as he was placed on the 10-day injured list, they are expected to get reinforcements this week in the form of Taylor Ward, who has not played since injuring his groin in the Freeway Series versus the L.A. Dodgers.

Angels manager Joe Maddon is also unworried about his club’s slow offensive start as they currently rank 21st in the league in offensive value.

The Angels are third in the American League West with a 3-4 record and a run differential of -10, while the Rangers are last with a record of 2-4 and a run differential of three.

Game 1: Angels Lose 10-5

Shohei Ohtani started on the mound in the first game of the series for his second start of the young season. In his previous outing, the two-way superstar took the loss despite a strong overall performance where he went 4.2 innings and gave up just one run on four hits while striking out nine.

Ohtani entered with a career 3.49 ERA in 188.1 innings with 231 strikeouts.

Dane Dunning started for the Rangers after previously taking the loss against the Toronto Blue Jays when the right-hander pitched five innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out four.

The 27-year-old owns a career 4.42 ERA in 156.2 innings pitched with 153 strikeouts.

Recap: Ohtani struggled in the start, allowing six runs in just 3.2 innings while also giving up a grand slam. The bullpen then allowed four more runs to score and the offense was unable to keep pace despite their solid showing. Mike Trout hit his second home run of the season while Brandon Marsh continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-5.

Game 2: Angels Win 9-6

Reid Detmers takes the ball for the second game of his season after the Angels dropped the first game of the series 10-5. He previously pitched four innings while allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in his debut against the Houston Astros.

The top prospect looks to build on his solid opening outing with another strong performance to cement himself as a fixture of a rotation that has lacked quality starters over the past few seasons.

Although this would have been Jon Gray’s day to start, he was placed on the 10-day injured list last week. The Rangers will instead give the ball to Matt Bush, a right-handed reliever who will pitch as the opener.

Recap: Backed by a two home run day from Ohtani, the Angels defeated the Rangers 9-6 with a comeback win. After the Rangers scored five runs in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead, the Angels came back with their own five-run inning in the fifth and never looked back.

Game 3: Angels win 7-2

Noah Syndergaard takes the bump in the third game of the series after a brilliant start to his Angels career.

In his previous outing, the 29-year-old pitched 5.1 innings while allowing no runs to pickup the win. However, Syndergaard only struck out one that outing, so that is an area he will need to improve moving forward to maintain his success.

The right-hander owns a career 3.30 ERA in 723.1 innings pitched with 778 strikeouts.

The Rangers counter with Taylor Hearn, who owns a 2.25 ERA in four innings this season along with six strikeouts.

Hearn has pitched parts of four seasons in Texas while making 13 career starts in 58 games. The 27-year-old southpaw has pitched to a career 4.71 ERA over 126 innings, but he has been more effective operating in a relief role.

Recap: The Angels won 7-2 behind a strong start from Syndergaard, who pitched six innings and allowed just two runs. Ohtani also hit his third homer of the series and Ward hit his first after being activated from the 10-day injured list.

Game 4: Angels win 8-3

In the fourth and final game of the series, Jose Suarez will be on the mound for the morning start.

In his previous outing, the 24-year-old pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two runs with two strikeouts, but he also walked four. Suarez earned the final spot in the rotation so he will need to improve on those results to make his case for his continued spot.

The southpaw owns a career 5.66 ERA across 186 innings of work while striking out 161.

The Rangers send a southpaw of their own to the mound in Martin Perez, who allowed three runs on seven hits across four innings in his last outing. The veteran returned to Texas this offseason after spending the first seven years of his career there.

Perez spent the last two season pitching for the Boston Red Sox and owns a career 4.72 ERA in 1,106.2 innings pitched with just 742 strikeouts.

Recap: Although L.A. picked up an 8-3 win and took first place in the American League West, the team had a scare when Mike Trout was removed from the game after being hit by a pitch. Luckily, the x-rays came back negative and he is day to day. Suarez allowed three runs in 4.1 innings while the bullpen secured them the win.

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