‘That one hurts.’ Angels drop series to Astros after blowing lead in ninth

Angels star Shohei Ohtani hits a solo home run in the ninth inning of a 9-8 loss to the Houston Astros.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani hits a solo home run in the ninth inning of a 9-8 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday at Angel Stadium.
(Eric Thayer / Associated Press)

The silence in the Angels’ clubhouse — after a crushing, 9-8 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday at Angel Stadium — was depressingly loud.

Unlike Saturday, there were no final-at-bat heroics for the Angels. Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th home run of the season in the ninth to make it a one-run game, but it wasn’t enough after the Angels’ bullpen squandered a 7-3 lead.

“[We wanted] to build off of yesterday, talked about the fight and everything,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said after the game. “So yeah. That one hurts.”


Angels starter Tyler Anderson struggled early, his pitch count climbing too high. Dealing with cramping in his left calf over his final 15 pitches, he was pulled after the third inning. He gave up one run on five hits, walked two and struck out five over 85 pitches.

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“I feel like I let our guys down,” Anderson said. “I feel like I put a lot of work on our bullpen there.”

Anderson’s exit prompted Jose Soriano, Zack Weiss, Jacob Webb, Carlos Estévez and Jaime Barría to pull the Angels the rest of the way.

Webb and Estevez gave up a combined three home runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Barria gave up home runs to Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker in the ninth to send the Angels (46-48) to a series loss.

“They broke our hearts last night and we broke their hearts today,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.

The Angels’ bullpen was dealing with limitations.

Chris Devenski experienced a hamstring issue after Saturday’s game and will head to the injured list, Nevin said. Matt Moore, who returned from the injured list two days ago, was not available to pitch a second straight night.

Nevin limited Estévez to just the eighth inning after he pitched Saturday.

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“I respect [Nevin’s] decision,” Estévez said. “I wish I went back out there, but at the same time I understand they’re trying to protect me.


“Tomorrow we can’t be thinking about what happened today. It’s a new day, it’s a new page of the book.”

The Angels’ next opponent: the New York Yankees (50-44) on Monday.