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Jo Adell proves his worth and Shohei Ohtani overcomes injury scare in Angels’ win

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ngels star Shohei Ohtani talks to a team trainer, center, while with his translator.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani talks to a team trainer, center, while with his translator after he was hit by a pitch Saturday against the Padres.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Jared Walsh and Jack Mayfield both homered, helping the Angels rout the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Saturday night for a split of the two-game series.

The Angels (64-67) rolled to a 10-2 win over the visiting San Diego Padres (69-62) on Saturday night to earn a split of the two-game series. The Angels are off Sunday and begin a three-game home series against the New York Yankees on Monday night.

Jo Adell proves his worth in cleanup spot during 10-2 win over Padres

Jo Adell runs to first base after a hit in the fifth inning of the Angels' 10-2 win Saturday.
Jo Adell runs to first base after a hit in the fifth inning of the Angels’ 10-2 win Saturday over the San Diego Padres.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Jo Adell hit cleanup for the first time in his career Saturday night, Angels manager Joe Maddon looking to challenge the 22-year-old right fielder in a more demanding lineup spot and reward him for the strides he has made at the plate, even if that progress isn’t necessarily reflected in the numbers.

Adell walked and scored from first on Jared Walsh’s double in the fourth inning, hit an RBI double to right in the fifth and gunned down the potential tying run at third base in the top of the fourth in the Angels’ 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres before a crowd of 36,176 in Angel Stadium.

“He’s just a totally different baseball player than we witnessed last year at this time,” Maddon said after the Angels won for only the second time in eight games. “Good for him. The minor league department did a great job of bringing a lot of this together, but it’s always about the player himself, and Jo is very motivated. Give him credit.”

Adell, recalled from triple A in early August, entered Saturday with a .224 average, .604 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, one homer, four doubles, 16 RBIs, 24 strikeouts and five walks in 23 games.

Hampered by injuries and COVID-19 issues, the Angels are facing question marks on the mound after a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Though he went hitless in two at-bats against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove on Friday night, Adell flied to deep left, lined out to third and laid off a low full-count curve.

“He handled himself really well in the box,” Maddon said before Saturday’s game. “I loved the walk on the 3-2 breaking ball.”

Adell, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, had only 27 games of triple-A experience when the Angels called him up in August 2020. He looked overmatched at the plate, batting .161 with a .478 OPS, three homers, seven RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 38 games, and made several gaffes in the field.

But his defensive play — Adell threw a laser to third to cut down Wil Myers, who was going from first to third on Austin Nola’s fourth-inning RBI single Saturday night — and the quality of his at-bats have improved noticeably.

“I like his physical approach — the way he’s standing in the box is 100% better,” Maddon said. “It starts with that. His stride is under control. He’s not jumpy. The bat is not waggling all over the place. He’s quiet.

Highlights from the Angels’ 10-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

“A perfect example is taking that Musgrove pitch for ball four. That would have been a swing-and-miss last year.”

Adell, who hadn’t hit higher than fifth before Saturday, tore up triple-A pitching this season, hitting .289 with a .934 OPS, 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 73 games. The final five weeks of this season will be important for Adell to establish himself in the big leagues.

“His confidence is up,” Maddon said. “If we can just keep nurturing that for the rest of the year … you want to build him out of the prospect category into a guy who can actually help you win.”

Hands down

Angels star Shohei Ohtani talks to the team trainer after he was hit by a pitch while striking out against the Padres.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani talks to the team trainer after he was hit by a pitch while striking out against the Padres on Saturday.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

The Angels got a scare in the first inning Saturday night when two-way star Shohei Ohtani, who is hitting .264 with a .986 OPS and a major league-leading 41 homers, was hit on the back of the right hand — his pitching hand — by a 93-mph fastball from Padres left-hander Ryan Weathers.

Ohtani, who is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts on the mound, was in obvious pain as he was ruled out on a check-swing third strike by plate umpire Vic Carapazza.

But X-rays after the at-bat were negative, and Ohtani remained in the game, popping out to shortstop in the third, walking and stealing second in the fifth to become the first player in Angels history with at least 40 homers and 20 stolen bases in a season. He grounded out in the sixth and struck out in the eighth.

Maddon said he didn’t expect the injury would affect Ohtani’s next scheduled start Tuesday night against the New York Yankees.

“Every day for the rest of this season he’s probably gonna do something that really stands out,” Maddon said of Ohtani’s 40-20 achievement. “It is impressive, because he’s pitching, too, my God.”

The Angels took a 3-0 lead on Walsh’s solo homer to right field in the second and Jack Mayfield’s two-run shot to right in the third.

The Angels lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-6 and pitchers Reid Detmers and Austin Warren were added to the injured list without any designation.

San Diego scored twice in the fourth on RBI singles by Eric Hosmer and Nola, but Angels right-hander Andrew Wantz replaced starter Jose Suárez with two on and got Fernando Tatis Jr. to line out to center to end the inning.

Walsh’s RBI double and Kurt Suzuki’s sacrifice fly pushed the Angels’ lead to 5-2 in the fourth, and Wantz struck out three of four batters — Manny Machado, Tommy Pham and Hosmer — with cut-fastballs in the fifth.

The Angels added two more runs in the fifth for a 7-2 lead, Adell hitting an RBI double and Justin Upton a sacrifice fly for his 1,000th career RBI, and three in the sixth for a 10-2 lead, Phil Gosselin grounding a two-run single to center and Walsh an RBI single to center.

Brandon Marsh had two singles and a double, giving the rookie center fielder three games with three hits or more in the week. Walsh, who made the All-Star team but has cooled considerably in the second half, had three hits and three RBIs. Walsh hit .200 with a .536 OPS, one homer and eight RBIs in his previous 26 games.

“It’s been a grind,” Walsh said of his second half. “I think everyone knows that at some point in the season you’re gonna hit a rough patch. So I try not to live and die with the results too much and just understand that if I’m using the whole field and swinging at strikes, good things are going to happen.”

Short hops

Right-hander Kyle Tyler was called up from triple A, and Cooper Criswell was optioned back to Salt Lake. Tyler, 24, went 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 20 games, 14 of them starts, for double-A Rocket City and Salt Lake this season. He was a 20th-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2018 … The Angels are off on Sunday, their first scheduled Sunday off-day in the franchise’s 60-year history. “I’m going to play 18 holes [of golf], take [wife] Jaye to the beach and then out to dinner,” Maddon said. “We’ve been looking at this for a bit.”

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Joe Maddon thinks Angels pitcher Packy Naughton is ‘Awesome! Totally Awesome!’

Angels relief pitcher Packy Naughton throws to a Dodgers batter.
Angels relief pitcher Packy Naughton delivers against the Dodgers on Aug. 8.
(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

Angels manager Joe Maddon compared Packy Naughton, who threw 4 1/3 innings sharp relief innings Friday night, to cult hero Jeff Spicoli, the pot-smoking, class-skipping, big-wave-catching surfer played by Sean Penn in the 1982 classic “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” but in a good way.

Naughton relieved struggling starter Cooper Criswell in the second inning and escaped a two-on, one-out jam. He went on to allow two runs — both unearned — and three hits, strike out two and walk two in an efficient 58-pitch outing.

“He walks into a bit of a hornet’s nest and gets out of it,” Maddon said. “He [got to the mound] and it was like, ‘Hey dude, give me the ball, you know? I’m good. Get out of my way.’ I kind of like that. It’s like giving the ball to Spicoli, right? That’s what he’s kind of like.”

Naughton, 25, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Brian Goodwin last August, has pitched only twice for the Angels, but he has impressed them with a five-pitch mix that consists of a 91-mph fastball, 83-mph split-fingered fastball, 83-mph slider, 84-mph cut-fastball and 81-mph changeup.

“What Packy did [Friday night] was very eye-opening to me,” Maddon said. “He’s not going to light up the [radar] gun, but you saw the pitchability, and, for lack of a better word, the swag that he takes out there with him. He has a lot of self-confidence. So that’s a moment for a kid like him that can absolutely accelerate how the rest of the group feels about him.”

So where does a prospect with only two big-league appearances get that kind of swag?

“You know, going out there, I just want to have fun and keep us in the game,” Naughton said Saturday. “That was the big thing. You have to go out there with confidence.

“If you don’t go out there with confidence, chances are, you’re not going to succeed in this game. So the more confidence you have, the more you can show you belong, the better it’s going to be for you.”

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Cooper Criswell loses big league debut as Angels fall to Padres 5-0

Angels starter Cooper Criswell leaves the game after he was removed during the second inning Aug. 27, 2021.
Angels starter Cooper Criswell leaves the game after he was removed during the second inning Friday night. He gave up three runs and six hits in 1 1/3 innings.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Sometime Friday afternoon, Angels manager Joe Maddon walked up to Cooper Criswell in the clubhouse and introduced himself. The two needed to meet — after all, Criswell was going to be his starting pitcher in a few hours and Maddon had never even watched the lanky right-hander throw a pitch.

The least he could do was say hello.

Hours later, Maddon found himself talking to Criswell again, asking for the baseball after the San Diego Padres christened the 25-year-old’s maiden voyage in the majors with a parade of smoked baseballs all over the Angel Stadium field.

The three runs he gave up in the second inning on five straight hits were enough for San Diego in a 5-0 win in the first game of a two-game series. San Diego starter Joe Musgrove shut out the Angels, holding them to three hits. Shohei Ohtani, who likely will pitch Tuesday against the New York Yankees, went hitless in four at-bats.

Hampered by injuries and COVID-19 issues, the Angels are facing question marks on the mound after a series loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

For as much as the Angels wanted to get a look at a player they view as a prospect (even if the ranking services really don’t), they pitched Criswell on Friday because they had to — their list of injuries to pitchers is so long that general manager Perry Minasian needed them written down on a sheet of paper when he met with reporters before the game.

At the top of the list was more bad news — left-hander Patrick Sandoval’s season is over because of a lower-back stress fracture.

The news on the rest of the injured Angels was decidedly vaguer, the term “week to week” coming up much more than “close to return.” But, at least according to Minasian, there’s still a chance Mike Trout returns to play center field this season.

Trout ran the bases Friday during a pretty intense workout, Minasian said, calling the calf injury that’s sidelined him since mid-May a “day-to-day thing.”

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Minasian said. “He’s chomping at the bit to get back. He understands, obviously, that the calendar is shrinking. But with that being said, he’s still working hard day in and day out. Today, they ran him pretty good.”

With only 32 games remaining, time is running out. Trout would need to have a rehab assignment before a return, meaning every day he doesn’t play is one day closer to his season being over.

The Angels lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-6 and pitchers Reid Detmers and Austin Warren were added to the injured list without any designation.

“He wants to get back. We’re going to do it in the right way, obviously with our medical staff involved,” Minasian said. “He understands the importance of what he brings to this organization going forward. He’s well aware of that. … Again, he’s dying to get back. He wants to play. He’s built to play. He loves this organization and loves playing in this ballpark. He’s really motivated to get back.”

One of the bright spots in his absence, Sandoval, won’t have that chance.

Before getting hurt, Sandoval was having his best season, going 3-6 with a 3.62 earned-run average in 87 innings. He struck out 94 and walked 36. And in the 10 starts before his injury, hitters were batting only .194. The stress fracture in his back won’t require surgery and is expected to heal for spring training.

“He has had an outstanding year, something to build off of. He’s worked really hard,” Minasian said. “Obviously disappointing that he’s not in the rotation and not going to finish the year, but with that being said, he made huge strides. We’re excited what the future holds for him.”

From left, the Padres' Eric Hosmer, Joe Musgrove, Jurickson Profar and Austin Nola celebrate a win Aug. 27, 2021.
From left, the Padres’ Eric Hosmer, Joe Musgrove, Jurickson Profar and Austin Nola celebrate the team’s 5-0 win over the Angels. Musgrove pitched a three-hitter.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Minasian said the injury is similar to the one that ended right-hander Griffin Canning’s season in July. The two are offseason training partners, and the nature of the similar injuries will lead to the team examining their training methods.

“We’re going back through our process, what they did in the offseason, what they did in-season just to see if there’s something that needs to change,” he said.

The injuries to the pitching staff opened the door for Criswell to make his big league debut. The first batter he faced, Fernando Tatis Jr., doubled. He escaped the inning, but five straight hits in the second ended his night.

Criswell was the 13th starter and the 34th pitcher used by the Angels this season. Already overworked, the bullpen managed to keep the Padres to just two unearned runs over the final 7-2/3 innings.

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Mike Trout in ‘day-to-day’ mode as he continues to recover from calf injury

Angels star Mike Trout smiles in the dugout before a game against the Oakland Athletics on July 19.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

Angels general manager Perry Minasian was reluctant to set a timetable for his star center fielder, but he did say that if Mike Trout manages to return this season from the calf injury that’s kept him out since May 17, he’ll do so in his normal position.

The Angels had discussed moving Trout to a corner outfield spot. Trout ran the bases before Friday‘s game during a pretty intense workout, Minasian said, calling the injury a “day-to-day thing.”

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Minasian said. “He’s chomping at the bit to get back. He understands, obviously, that the calendar is shrinking. but that being said, he’s still working hard day in and day out. Today, they ran him pretty good. We’ll see how the calf feels tomorrow.”

With only 32 games remaining following Friday’s contest with the San Diego Padres, the clock for the three-time MVP is certainly ticking. Trout would need to have a rehab assignment before a return, meaning every day he doesn’t play is one day closer to his season being over.

“I don’t want to put any type of timeframe on it. He wants to get back. We’re going to do it in the right way, obviously with our medical staff involved,” Minasian said. “He understands the importance of what he brings to this organization going forward. He’s well aware of that. … Again, he’s dying to get back. He wants to play. He’s built to play. He loves this organization and loves playing in this ballpark. He’s really motivated to get back. But with that being said, he’s got to feel good.

“... He’s got to feel really good and feel like he can play up to his standards, which are as high as anyone on planet earth.”

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ICYMI: Angels’ shorthanded pitching staff roughed up again in 13-1 loss to Orioles

Highlights from the Angels’ 13-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.

While it was clear the Angels weren’t on the verge of a playoff push a couple weeks ago, they did seem to be laying down building blocks for the future — especially on the mound.

Patrick Sandoval was turning into arguably the second-best starter on the team. José Suarez and Jaime Barria had shown promising flashes in their return to the rotation. Prospects Reid Detmers and Chris Rodriguez had been recalled from the minor leagues. And young relievers such as Austin Warren were emerging in the bullpen.

It was becoming one of the few bright spots for the Angels to cling to down the stretch, a silver lining to potentially carry into the offseason

But now, a rash of injuries, inconsistency and COVID-19 issues has wiped even that positive storyline away, culminating in a calamitous 13-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday afternoon that marked one of the Angels’ worst defeats all season.

“Everything about our pitching needs to get straightened out again,” manager Joe Maddon said.

Read more >>>

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Betting odds and lines for Angels vs. San Diego Padres on Friday

Angels first baseman Jared Walsh and second baseman David Fletcher jog off the field.
Angels first baseman Jared Walsh, left, and second baseman David Fletcher jog off the field during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.
(Terrance Williams / Associated Press)

The Angels return home from Baltimore after losing two games to an Orioles team that had lost 19 straight. The Angels will look to avoid a repeat against a San Diego Padres squad that has lost 11 of their last 13 and four consecutive games.

The Angels likely will use a bullpen game against the Padres with Chris Rodriguez, Dylan Bundy, Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers all on the injured list and Jose Quintana being pressed into two innings of relief Thursday.

The Angels’ bullpen has racked up the fifth most innings in the majors this season and its 4.68 ERA ranks 23rd in the league. The Padres have used their bullpen more than any other MLB team with a 3.13 ERA that ranks third overall.

Joe Musgrove, who has allowed one run or less in four of his last five starts, will start for San Diego. He has issued two walks or fewer in eight of his last nine starts. He has a 3.04 ERA with an 8-8 record and 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Padres are 3-6 in the last nine road games with Musgrove on the mound. They’ve score four runs or fewer in 11 of their last 14 games with a 1-14 run line record in their last 15 games overall. The Angels have allowed at least five runs in six of their last seven games.

VSiN, the Sports Betting Network, offers more expert sports betting content in a free daily email at VSiN.com/email.

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