For the first time since May 9-15, the Los Angeles Angels have won their second consecutive series. By sweeping the Oakland Athletics and taking two of three from the Minnesota Twins, the Angels have quietly put together a nice hot streak in recent weeks.
The Halos are 5-1 in their last six games, 7-3 in their last 10, 9-6 in their last 15, and 12-9 in their last 21. They’ve done this on the back of strong pitching — 3.33 runs per game allowed since July 30 — and a renewed offensive rhythm.
Against the Twins, all three starters — Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers, and Tucker Davidson — allowed just two earned runs. The bullpen gave up a grand total of three runs over the course of three games. Paired with some clutch hitting, the Angels look like something resembling the team that began this season 27-17.
Of course, wins are immaterial for the standings given how far the Angels had fallen. But in baseball, there is never a problem with a winning streak or a win-heavy stretch of schedule.
Game 1: Twins def. Angels 4-0
Sandoval had plenty to say about his own performance in this series opener. He allowed two runs on five hits and four walks, an outing he called “embarrassing and unacceptable” in the aftermath. But the offense failed to support him in any way.
The Angels scraped together just four hits, just three of them against starter Tyler Mahle. David Fletcher and Luis Rengifo were the only Angels players to reach base via a hit, with the former getting on base three times in four plate appearances.
The story of this opening loss — a 4-0 result for Minnesota — was a combination of uneven pitching and nonexistent hitting.
Game 2: Angels def. Twins 5-3 (F/11)
It took the Angels 17 innings to score their first run of their series. But once they did, it opened the flood gates in Anaheim. After Carlos Correa’s solo home run and sacrifice fly propelled the Twins to a 3-0 lead, the Angels waited until the game’s most dramatic moments to leave their mark.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shohei Ohtani hit a solo home run of his own to make it 3-1. Then, with two outs in the ninth, Magneuris Sierra drove in two runs with a triple, but was called out at the plate trying to stretch a Little League Walk-Off home run.
With the game all knotted up in the 11th, Taylor Ward sent a ball to right center field 404 feet for a true walk-off victory.
Detmers had a solid outing, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks, but striking out nine batters in the process. Meanwhile, Jose Quijada and Ryan Tepera pitched two hitless innings in extras.
Game 3: Angels def. Twins 4-2
Had Davidon fallen into his Atlanta Braves patterns after giving up a two-run home run to Byron Buxton in the first inning, this game could have gone much differently. But the Angels’ No. 11 prospect pushed through for one of the best outings of his career.
He allowed just the two earned runs on four hits and one walk in 6.0 innings of work. The offense did just enough to secure him his first win as an Angel, too.
A Rengifo double in the third inning tied the game at two. Kurt Suzuki then gave the Angels the lead in the next frame with a sacrifice fly. Ohtani added some insurance with a seventh-inning RBI single. Jaime Barria and Quijada closed things out with three nearly perfect innings out of the bullpen.
While it was many of the usual suspects for the Angels — and the playoffs remain out of reach — this complete series performance is just another reason to think positively as the team moves forward with the 2022 season.