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Angels

Angels drop fourth straight game with loss to Giants 8-1

At one point Friday night, the fifth inning was delayed because a beach ball fell onto the field.

And that was pretty much the highlight for the home team at Angel Stadium, where a lot of negative things unfolded.

Yeah, again.

The Angels were routed for the fourth consecutive game, this time 8-1 by a San Francisco team struggling to score. Against Andrew Heaney, however, its offense burst like fireworks at a grand finale.

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In opening their second homestand 0-4, the Angels have been outscored 35-4 and outhit 52-19. They have lost by margins of nine, nine, six and seven runs.

They haven’t had as much as a lead in six days, not since winning in Kansas City last Saturday.

“We haven’t done anything well,” Justin Upton said.

“You can’t win a baseball game when you don’t do anything well.”

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Andrew McCutchen hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning of a game against the Angels on Friday.
(Chris Carlson / Associated Press )

This was a club that opened the season 13-3, the best 16-game start in franchise history.

In what seems like an instant, the Angels now are playing like a bunch trying to avoid being mailed into history.

The current state of the team was captured in that fifth inning, which began with the Giants leading 1-0 and ended with the Angels playing out the string.

San Francisco scored six times to ruin what had been an encouraging start for Heaney. Five of the runs came on homers by Mac Williamson and Andrew McCutchen.

Williamson had just joined the Giants on Friday afternoon, replacing the injured Hunter Pence.

Upon his arrival at the ballpark, he told reporters, “I am definitely not a savior.”

But then he produced the hardest-hit ball by a Giant all season — 114 mph.

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Suddenly down 7-0, the Angels’ broken offense received three walks in the bottom of the inning from Jeff Samardzija, who was making his 2018 debut, and still couldn’t score.

The inning ended when Upton drove an echoing shot toward the left-field fence, a ball that launched from his bat at 100 mph and looked everything like a grand slam.

On the mound, Samardzija dropped his head in despair. Upton watched the ball’s majestic arc. Somehow it died at the front of the warning track, nestling into Williamson’s glove.

Upton tossed his head back as he rounded first.

Samardzija walked toward the dugout, clapping his hands and visibly grinning.

Even gifted three baserunners, the Angels failed to advance any one of them home on a night when they stranded seven and finished zero for five with men in scoring position.

Starting with the middle of the game last Saturday and ending with the eighth inning Friday, the Angels had 18 hits and 17 of them were singles.

They still haven’t scored more than two runs in any one rally since the seventh inning April 12 in Kansas City. There was 56 innings ago.

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“We’re playing from behind every single game because we’re not letting them breathe,” Heaney said of his offensive teammates. “They’re always playing down. I think it starts with [the starting pitchers].”

Wherever it starts, it certainly hasn’t been ending well for the Angels.

jmiller2929@yahoo.com


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