An exhausted Tyler Skaggs exits after five innings, Angels rally to defeat Orioles 6-2
This time, finally, the injury news for the Angels was there was no injury.
Tyler Skaggs was “gassed,” that’s all, leaving Saturday after five innings against Baltimore in a game the Angels came back to win 6-2.
The left-hander has had only two shorter starts in 2018, the 79 pitches Skaggs threw his season low.
He recently missed a turn because of a hamstring issue and also was involved in an awkward-looking play at first base immediately before exiting.
Given all the injuries the Angels have experienced — 14 players are on the disabled list — it was easy to conclude that something was now wrong with the hottest pitcher they have going.
Turns out, Skaggs was just too hot, the first-pitch temperature at Camden Yards announced as 93 degrees.
“I told him, ‘I very rarely come out and say this, but I’m exhausted,’ ” Skaggs said of his in-game confession to manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Charles Nagy. “I said I could go another inning. He was like, ‘Let’s shut it down.’ ”
Asked the last time he admitted he should come out of a game, Skaggs said it was in this same stadium, four years ago.
On July 31, 2014, he left in the fifth inning against the Orioles after suffering an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament and wouldn’t pitch again for the Angels for nearly two years.
“This was definitely one of the hottest games I’ve thrown in a long time,” Skaggs said. “The first inning didn’t help, either. I exerted a lot of energy in the first inning.”
The first three batters he faced had singles and the next 17 he faced had no hits at all. Skaggs did have a walk and an error in there, along with an error by first baseman Luis Valbuena.
Otherwise, he didn’t give up another hit until Manny Machado’s single that actually ended the fifth when the ball struck baserunner Adam Jones.
After Skaggs departed, relievers Noe Ramirez, Jose Alvarez, Justin Anderson and Blake Parker assembled four scoreless innings and the Angels won with a five-run eighth.
The game-deciding rally was a function of both teams appearing to try to score runs for the Angels.
With the Orioles leading 2-1, Baltimore reliever Mychal Givens ignited the uprising by walking Mike Trout and Justin Upton back to back with one out. Albert Pujols followed with an RBI double to make it 2-2.
It was the 632nd double for Pujols, tying him with David Ortiz for 10th all time. He is the only player whose name appears on the top-10 lists of career homers and doubles.
The Orioles decided to intentionally walk Andrelton Simmons to load the bases and set up a potential double play.
Following that script, pinch-hitter Chris Young sent a chopper straight to third baseman Tim Beckham, who tried to step on the bag and throw to first to finish the inning.
Only Beckham struggled with his footing around third and then double-pumped before firing across the diamond, where his relay pulled first baseman Chris Davis off the bag.
Young was safe, Upton scored and the Angels took the lead for the first time and for good.
What came next was a single by Ian Kinsler, an RBI hit by pitch by Martin Maldonado and a two-run single by David Fletcher.
In the inning, the Angels sent their entire lineup to the plate and went from one run down to four runs up and everyone received a timely reminder of why Baltimore has the worst record in baseball.
Still, this game attracted a crowd of 38,838, many of whom no doubt attended for the free Orioles-themed Hawaiian shirt giveaway.
By the end, the crowd had grown restless and some people were booing. Baltimore is 23rd in baseball in attendance and probably won’t have as many as 38,838 again for awhile — not after this one — unless the team gives away Orioles-theme Hawaiian pants.
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