The afternoon was ugly for the
The major league guys got to spend a rare summer evening with their families, sleep in their own beds and get away from the ballpark for nearly 24 hours. That was about it for Angels highlights Sunday.
With little margin for error in the game, the Angels piled up error upon error. Three poor plays were scored as errors, three more poor plays were not, bad enough on any day, worse on a day when the opposing pitcher was
The result: an 8-1 loss to the
The Angels started the day by benching
Gray, a potential starter for the
"I'm under the impression he's doing that to everybody," Angels catcher
The Angels gave up a run in the second inning, when second baseman Johnny Giovatella booted a double-play ball, shortstop
The Angels gave up another run in the third inning, when Aybar tried to make an over-the-shoulder catch of a pop fly that landed several feet away. In the sixth inning, a hard grounder bounced off third baseman Kyle Kubitza and Aybar fumbled a bases-loaded grounder.
"We just played poor defensively," Manager
Said Iannetta: "I wouldn't call it mental breakdowns. They were pretty much physical errors. That happens. It's just unfortunate they happened several times in the game."
The Angels began the game having given up 13 unearned runs, tied for fewest in the AL, and having made one error this month. As a result, Scioscia said, he did not address the team about the defensive lapses.
"It's over," he said. "We turned the page on it. These guys have been playing really good baseball, especially defensively. This one just got away from us."
Before the game, Scioscia told Joyce he would be benched Sunday and Monday. Scioscia said the Angels have not discussed releasing Joyce.
"Not at all," Scioscia said.
Scioscia said Joyce would get more chances but would not say when Joyce would play again. Scioscia noted the Angels had options in left field, but none of the options he cited is proven: Efren Navarro, primarily a first baseman; Giavotella, primarily a second baseman; Kubitza, a rookie and primarily a third baseman; and rookie Taylor Featherson, a utility infielder with an .091 batting average.
Joyce was acquired to bat in the middle of the lineup against right-handers. On Sunday, against a right-hander, the Angels effectively gave Kubitza, with 14 major league plate appearances, the at-bats that would have gone to Joyce.
"If you look at our organizational depth, a productive Matt Joyce is really important to us," Scioscia said, "especially a left-handed bat this lineup needs for balance. I think there's more production there. It's up to Matt to see if he can find his way through this."