Following a frustrating series loss to the Texas Rangers last weekend, the Los Angeles Angels were hopeful to bounce back against the lowly Oakland Athletics. Both teams have been scuffling for a majority of the season, but with the Angels at home, they had a chance to secure a rare series victory.
But over the course of the three-game set, both the bats and the arms let the team down at various points. This led to a 2-1 series defeat for the Halos, one that included a historic loss that saw L.A. hit seven solo home runs.
And now, the Angels head out on the road having not won a series at Angel Stadium since late June against the Chicago White Sox. L.A. already sealed their 2022 fate with their decisions at the trade deadline, but in the meantime, it remains important to grab wins against beatable teams.
The Angels failed to do that against the Athletics, despite winning the first game of the series and finally having their bats awaken for an afternoon. Here, we’ll break down each game and figure out what went wrong in Anaheim over the three games.
Game 1: Angels def. Athletics 3-1
David Fletcher kicked the series off nicely with a leadoff home run to give the Angels a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After missing multiple months with hip injuries, seeing him belt his first home run of the season was a welcomed sight.
Jose Suarez was also strong in the series opener. He pitched five innings and allowed no earned runs — one unearned — on five hits and two walks. He received praise for his second consecutive positive outing, and has not given up an earned run in his last 10.1 innings of work.
The Angels also got a boost from an Athletics defensive error and a Phil Gosselin RBI single to propel them to a 3-1 victory in the opener.
Game 2: Athletics def. Angels 3-1
Game 2 of this series saw Shohei Ohtani deal with far more traffic on the base paths than he’s used to. In 5.2 innings of work, he allowed only two earned runs — three total — all coming off of Sean Murhpy RBIs. However, he allowed seven hits and a walk and did not have his best stuff overall.
Neither did Athletics starter James Kaprielian, but he did just a marginally better job at stranding runners. He gave up six hits and a walk in his 5.1 innings, but allowed only one run via an RBI double from Luis Rengifo.
Both bullpens shut their opponent down, pitching a combined 7.0 innings and allowing a grand total of one hit and no walks with five strikeouts. This allowed the Athletics to hold onto their 3-1 lead and even the series, setting up a rubber match on Thursday.
Game 3: Athletics def. Angels 8-7
The Angels set franchise records and MLB records in this losing effort. With all seven runs coming via the solo home run, the Angels became the first team to score more than six runs all off of solo homers. They also became the second team to lose a game in which they hit seven solo home runs.
Janson Junk and Touki Toussaint combined to give up eight runs over the span of just two innings, and that’s all the Athletics needed to surpass the Angels despite a historic offensive effort.
The seven home runs were hit by Jared Walsh, Jo Adell, Kurt Suzuki, Mickey Moniak, Taylor Ward, and two from Ohtani. As far as losing a series goes, the Angels easily put together one of the hardest possible ways to do it.