Shohei Ohtani hit the hardest home run of his young major league career, Kole Calhoun extended his career-high with his 29th long ball of the season, but the plummeting Angels did not finagle a victory away from the Indians on Wednesday night. They were swept at Angel Stadium for the second time this season. They have been swept eight times overall.
Angels starter Dillon Peters continued to struggle. He gave up four runs in three-plus innings. He could not master any of his pitches well enough to receive first-pitch strikes, getting only eight in the 17 hitters.
“It’s just a lack of getting ahead of hitters and doing my job, which is get as deep into the ballgame as I can,” Peters said. “I have not been able to do that as of late. It’s embarrassing. I work my tail off between starts to be consistent and pound the zone and do what the team asks me to do.”
Command was not Peters’ only problem. Balks were called on him in the first and second innings. He accidentally started a windup with a runner on base in each occurrence.
Peters has surrendered 22 runs, 18 of them earned, in his last 221/3 innings spanning five starts. Hitters have pelted him for 11 doubles, one triple and six home runs since this poor stretch began Aug. 19.
“The frustrating fact is I’m not doing what I’m asked to do and that’s go deep into ballgames, turn the lineup over, and get to the next inning and get as deep into the game as I can and save the bullpen and keep the team in the game,” Peters said. “In the first two innings my last few outings, it hasn’t been easy to battle back the remainder of the game. This is all on me.”
The Indians didn’t score after the second inning. Peters retired the final six batters he faced. Relievers Noe Ramirez, Miguel Del Pozo, Keynan Middleton, Luis Garcia, Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles worked scoreless outings. But the Angels offense, which has sputtered as Mike Trout has sat out because of nerve irritation in his right foot, could not capitalize. David Fletcher hit an RBI single in the second, Ohtani blasted a 114.4-mph solo shot to right field in the fifth and Calhoun smoked a pitch from Indians reliever Tyler Clippard into the rock pile at center-field in the eighth.