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Mike Scioscia won’t blame sudden downtime for Angels’ woes

They were playing with the unrestrained joy of children, these grown men frolicking among the flurries in Kansas City, all but making actual snow Angels.

Then they returned home to discover a real chill.

In dropping the first two games to Boston by a combined score of 19-1, the Angels lost their seven-game winning streak, their momentum and, quite possibly, their mojo.

All after a postponement Sunday and an off day Monday. The sudden downtime is one possible explanation — but not one that manager Mike Scioscia is buying.

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“Anytime you get an off day… it’s definitely welcomed,” he said. “I don’t think the two days had any lingering effect to where we didn’t offensively attack the ball the way we can or even on the mound make the pitches.”

The Angels had rolled to the best 16-game (13-3) start in franchise history and won 10 of 11 before encountering a Red Sox team also off to an all-time great start.

In the first two games of this series, the Angels batted .159 (10 for 63), all singles. Their most recent extra-base hit was a double by Albert Pujols on Saturday.

“This is something that can happen at any time,” Scioscia said. “These guys have pitched really well and swung the bats really well and beat us two games.”

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Ohtani batting 6th

Shohei Ohtani was back in the lineup Thursday as the designated hitter and batting sixth. That was his highest position yet in the order.

He left his pitching start Tuesday after two innings because of a blister on his right middle finger, a condition he and the Angels say does not impact his ability to swing a bat.

“He’s not very worried about it,” Scioscia said. “Of course, we’re looking at it very closely…Hopefully, it will be a non-issue.”

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The Angels are still optimistic Ohtani will be able to make his next pitching start, likely early next week in Houston.

Calhoun gets start

With the Red Sox starting left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Young replaced Kole Calhoun in right field. Calhoun is hitting .205.

“He’s not as comfortable in the box right now as he was in the beginning of the season,” Scioscia said. “He’ll get there. It’s a process, and Kole’s going to be fine.”

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jmiller2929@yahoo.com


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