The Los Angeles Angels are nearing the end of another lost season that will end without a playoff appearance. While there is nothing left to play for, the team still has a week-and-a-half’s worth of games to finish out before a very important offseason begins.
The Angels began their final road trip of the season this week with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. While L.A. has been eliminated from postseason contention, Tampa Bay is still trying to catch the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East standings.
The Angels dropped the series opener on Tuesday, but bounced back with an 8-3 win in the second matchup that snapped a six-game losing streak. Brandon Drury led the way offensively by going 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and team-leading five RBI.
The veteran infielder emphasized the importance of the Angels finishing out the year strong, via Joey Johnston of MLB.com:
“We don’t look at it like we’re trying to ruin anyone’s year, but we owe it to everybody in the game to play hard and play to win. I like the way our guys are going about their business.’’
With the Angels’ win, the Rays missed an opportunity to gain some ground on the Orioles, who were defeated by the Houston Astros. Tampa Bay trails Baltimore by 2.5 games with nine left on the schedule.
The Angels will look to continue playing spoiler against the Rays on Thursday and for their remaining series after that. L.A. concludes its road trip with three games against the Minnesota Twins, who are looking to clinch the AL Central.
The Angels then return home for a three-game series with the Texas Rangers, who are fighting for a postseason spot, before ending the season against the Oakland Athletics.
Angels’ Shohei Ohtani undergoes elbow procedure
Prior to their win against the Rays on Tuesday, Shohei Ohtani underwent elbow surgery to repair a tear in his right UCL. Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the procedure, explained that the two-year star did not need a complete reconstruction of the ligament.
“The ultimate plan after deliberation with Shohei, was to repair the issue at hand and to reinforce the healthy ligament in place while adding viable tissue for the longevity of the elbow,” ElAttrache said in the statement released by agent Nez Balelo.
“I expect full recovery and he’ll be ready to hit without any restrictions come opening day of 2024 and do both (hit & pitch) come 2025.”