The Angels are hoping for some good news regarding Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.
In the second inning Wednesday, as Andrew Heaney was about to give up three homers and six runs total, the team released the news that Zack Cozart has a torn labrum, ending his 2018 season.
Then the Angels went on to lose to Boston 9-6, a defeat made all the more bitter by the fact they made it all the way back from that early six-run hole.
But instead of a stirring, unlikely victory, they fell for the fifth consecutive time to continue a troubling slide toward obscurity.
A season that began with so much promise -- 13 victories in their first 16 games -- has crumbled beyond recognition, the Angels falling to 41-40 at the halfway point.
Tattered by failing body parts, they are fourth in the American League West and just watched as the health of three more players -- Cozart, John Lamb and Jake Jewell -- was notably impacted.
Lamb was placed on the disabled list before the game because of shoulder and elbow inflammation. In the eighth inning, Jewell suffered what appeared to be a significant ankle injury. He was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital.
“It’s not an excuse, but we’ve had a lot of (stuff) not go our way,” Heaney said. “I think everybody understands what we have ahead of us.”
Cozart separated his left shoulder June 13 making a diving attempt in Seattle. Afterward, he likened the injury to one he had earlier in his career, one that cost him “a few days.”
He was placed on the 10-day disabled list and recently had begun attempting to increase his rehabilitation.
Because of continued discomfort, the Angels sent Cozart for a second opinion, which confirmed an injury that will now require surgery.
The typical recovery time is six to eight months, even though the tear is in Cozart’s nonthrowing shoulder.
The Angels signed Cozart to a three-year, $38-million deal in December to play third base. Because of the injuries, he also appeared at short and second, hitting .219 in 58 games.
Ohtani (sprained ulnar collateral ligament) is set to be evaluated Thursday. The Angels hope he’ll at least be cleared to resume hitting.
The team also looks close to getting Mike Trout (sprained index finger) back defensively. He made his eighth consecutive start at designated hitter Wednesday.
Trout has thrown before each of the past two games and said he plans to increase the intensity of his next session Thursday.
That was the positive from a night when Heaney surrendered, by estimation, a combined 1,206 feet of home run.
“We had a game plan going in and I didn’t execute it,” he said. “In no way, shape or form did I execute it.”
Martin Maldonado had a three-run homer to highlight an Angels comeback that only delayed the latest defeat.