“What he’s lacking now is experience,” manager
He gained little since, only manning left field for three innings of a blowout last week before an unexpected start there Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. Predictably, he did not fare well when thrust into the spotlight in the Angels' 5-1 loss to Houston.
It was an all-around unusual outfield configuration. Right fielder Kole Calhoun, hitless in 19 consecutive at-bats, sat out, and new left fielder
"I might have shagged out there once," Maybin said.
So, Altuve drove a ball to right. Standing far deeper than Reddick, his Astros counterpart, Maybin broke in, slid, and could not corral it, his first step one beat too late.
"I think I might have jumped one tick too late," Maybin said. "But what can you do, man? The effort was there, but no catch."
Altuve then stole second, and took third on a
Making the second start of his career, Ramirez increased his use of breaking balls from last time. By the fourth inning, he was dominating. He wielded a backdoor slider to strike out Altuve looking, then froze McCann with a 97-mph fastball and buried an 89-mph slider to strike out Gattis.
At that point, he'd struck out five consecutive Astros, eight in all, and induced 12 missed swings.
"It felt like if I closed my eyes I could throw the fastball wherever I wanted," Ramirez said. "And my slider was really good today, hard and sharp."
That streak ceased in the fifth, when Alex Bregman led off with a double and scored on a Yulieski Gurriel single. Ramirez walked
Pitching coach Charles Nagy visited the mound, Blake Parker began to warm in the bullpen and Ramirez snapped his belt while attempting to adjust it.
"Don't think I'm too fat," Ramirez said. "I'm not."
New belt attached, Ramirez induced an inning-ending double play on his third pitch to
Ramirez retired Altuve, and Scioscia emerged from the Angels dugout, choosing to play the matchups with his relievers.
Facing left-hander Dallas Keuchel, the Angels scored in the third, when
To end the Angels' seventh, Maldonado took a called third strike on the outside edge of the zone, one he could not believe. He ripped off his helmet and shouted at plate umpire Mike DiMuro, but was not ejected.
Mike Morin entered for the eighth and served up a two-run home run to Reddick. The lead out of reach, the Angels soon fell to 7-9.
The Angels do not appear to have much room for error, but Wednesday's lineup indicated they are willing to take risks. Maybin said he was sure he'd get better in right field given time. Speaking in a hushed voice through an interpreter, Marte said he already felt comfortable in left field.
“He’s fine,” Scioscia said. “He’s fine. He’s fine. He’s not going to be Cam. He’s not going to be