The Los Angeles Angels headed into their final set of a five-city, 10-game road trip against the skidding Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Coming off of being swept, Joe Maddon felt the team needed to put something together quickly.
Whatever the Angels were hoping would happen in the series opener against the Orioles, the final result was even better. L.A. won in massive fashion, winning 14-8 and scoring 13 runs in a three-inning span.
All nine starters reached base safely at least twice, with Brandon Marsh leading the way, going 4-for-6 with two RBIs. Jo Adell went 2-for-5 with four RBIs. And perhaps most impressively, the Angels did this with just one home run, a two run shot by Juan Lagares in the second inning.
In total, they scored 14 runs on 19 hits, and Maddon felt an overwhelming relief after a three-game sweep in which the Angels mustered just two total runs over 27 innings of work, according to Savannah McCann of MLB.com:
“It’s one of those confidence boosters,” said Maddon on the win. “We needed that. We needed guys to feel the ball on the barrel of the bat again.”
“I’m always looking for micro improvements,” Maddon said ahead of the opener when asked what type of production he needs from the middle of his lineup. “It just doesn’t go from zero to 60.”
Perhaps one of the best sights of the night was Jared Walsh breaking out of a recent slump to go 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored.
“Walsh, it’s just looking more familiar,” said Maddon. “I think [his hands] have been negated a bit more recently, but I think I see them coming back.”
After the difficult season the Angels have had, it clearly was a great feeling to see a game in which everything just went right for them. They were able to find the gaps in the defense with ease, everyone connected their barrel to the ball, and the line just kept moving.
If the Angels can keep the momentum going against a sputtering Orioles team that has now lost 19 consecutive games, they can potentially exit this road trip at .500 or better. With the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees coming up, the Angels are going to need all the momentum they can get.
Adell impressing Maddon, Minasian
Beyond just one good game, Adell has shown significant strides from his dismal 2020 season. Maddon and Perry Minasian acknowledged the complete overhaul of his game, saying that he is a completely different player from last season.
Adell hoped that his 2021 call up would be permanent, and his improved defense and plate discipline may just make that happen.