by BJ Martin, Angels Nation Staff
Justin Upton’s offense has been missed greatly by Angels most of the past two seasons.
Monday, the veteran left fielder showed he’s ready to be that middle of the order presence the team needs this season.
Hitting not one, but two solo home runs to deep center field against the Milwaukee Brewers. The second, hit off lefty Brent Suter, clearing the same batter’s eye Ohtani cleared last week.
Upton now has three home runs this spring and seems poised to finish the final two years of his contract strong.
The All-Star third baseman hit an opposite field solo home run to right field.
Before he had a chance to get comfortable in the dugout, Justin Upton followed him with a long bomb to deep center field. Back-to-back home runs for two guys the Angels are counting on driving in runs this year.
Rendon & JUp going back-to-back. Upton hitting two deep bombs to CF. https://t.co/b8Y9PziO7k
Both home runs hit off Brewers’ ace Brandon Woodruff to start the top of the second inning.
The Angels hitters would total five home runs in their 10-9 loss to the Brewers in their seven inning game.
The ‘Brief Breakdown’:
Andrew Heaney struggled early in the first inning.
Allowing two runs and walking the bases loaded before recording his first out.
Heaney was consistently missing home plate umpire Kyle McCrady’s narrow strike zone. His breaking ball missing the inside and outside corners repeatedly.
Maddon would give non-roster invite Ben Rowen a chance to get out of situational jam. Entering the game in the first inning with runners on the corners with two outs.
The submarine pitcher would surrender an RBI single to Derek Fisher before retiring the next two batters.
The oddity of 2021 Spring Training continued in the bottom of the second.
Andrew Heaney, previously removed with one out in the first, returned to the mound for the second inning. Obviously, something that cannot be done in regular games. Anything is possible this spring.
After walking the leadoff batter, he caught Omar Narvaez looking on strikes. Just before surrendering a bloop single down the right field line.
Heaney would pitch two and two-thirds innings, walking three, and striking out one.
Chris Rodriguez was ranked fourth in the Angels system early Monday on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Angels prospects list. He entered the game in the fourth inning, retired Billy McKinney on three strikes before getting knocked around a little.
Rodriguez would pitch 2/3 inning, allowing three hits on four hits while recording both outs courtesy of the strike out.
Junior Guerra entered the game and bailed Rodriguez out of the inning and pitched a clean fifth. Finishing his day with two strike outs in one and one-third innings pitched.
Kyle Keller would strike out two hitters but surrendered three runs and the Angels lead in his sixth inning pitched.
The Angels went to the field with a line-up that could be preview of their Opening Day line-up in just over three weeks.
Monday’s starters performed as follows:
David Fletcher (Second base) 0-for-2
Mike Trout (Center field) 0-for-2
Shohei Ohtani (Designated Hitter) 1-for-3 with a run scored
Anthony Rendon (Third base) 1-for-3 with solo home run
Justin Upton (Left field) 2-for-2 with two home runs and three runs batted in.
Albert Pujols (First base) 0-for-2
Dexter Fowler (Right field) 0-for-2
Kurt Suzuki (Catcher) 0-for-2
Jose Iglesias (Shortstop) 0-for-2
Iglesias would make a pair of highlight plays in the field. Beginning inning ending double plays in the second and third inning. The second being a 6-7-4 double play in shallow left field. Simply amazing.
Andrelton who? Just a phenomenal play by Iglesias. https://t.co/wYdNDD5VM7
The substitute performances worth noting…
Outfield prospect Jordyn Adams hit a long three-run home run that cleared the center field batter’s eye. The bomb flew off the slugger’s bat and tied the game at seven in the fifth inning.
MLB Pipeline Top 30 Angels prospects listed Adams the organization’s third best prospect earlier in the day.
Franklin Barreto, out of options and battling for spot as utility infielder, had another solid game. Making nice plays at second base and hitting line drive single to center field in the fifth.
Another infielder battling for a spot on the roster continued to make waves. Jose Rojas hit his second home run of the spring with a drive to deep right field in the sixth.
Jo Adell hit a nice line drive single in the sixth inning. He would steal second base on a failed hit-and-run a couple minutes later.
Catcher Juan Graterol is a long shot for the Angels opening roster behind Suzuki, Max Stassi, and Taylor Ward. He’s continued to hit well with a double down the right field line that lifted his Cactus League average to .400.
Dylan Bundy started an unofficial B-game at the Maryvale Monday morning. This start was designed to give Bundy the work he’ll miss due to tomorrow’s off-day. He pitched three innings followed by impressive outings by Reid Detmers and Jose Alberto Rivera.
On Tuesday: The Angels have an off-day Tuesday. They will be returning to the field Wednesday afternoon against Cleveland. The Angels are expected to start Alex Cobb against a starting pitcher to be determined for the hump day matinee at Goodyear Field. Wednesday’s 12:05 PM (PT) ballgame will be broadcast for television on Fox Sports West and radio on KLAA.