Pitching implosion dooms Angels to their biggest loss of the season

Angels relief pitcher Jaime Barría stands on the field after giving up seven runs in the sixth inning.
Angels relief pitcher Jaime Barría stands on the field after giving up seven runs in the sixth inning of the Angels’ 18-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the second game of a split doubleheader Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
(Michael Owen Baker / Associated Press)

When the approaching hurricane forced the Angels to play a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, they knew the bullpen would be tested. They built confidence with a 7-6 win in the opener, but they ended the series with an 18-4 loss in the second game.

The 14-run differential was the worst loss of the season for an Angels team that lost 12-0 to the Texas Rangers a week ago. They have lost 13 of 18 since the trade deadline passed.

“Your day ends obviously with a sour taste,” manager Phil Nevin said. “We played a great ballgame this afternoon. And obviously, this is the one we’re gonna take with us tonight.”


An Angels consultant planned a rehearsal for City Hall leaders before a council meeting to approve the sale of Angel Stadium, court records show.

Aug. 18, 2023

Angels right-hander Chase Silseth had a shaky start in the first game, giving up five hits and five runs while walking three and striking out four in 3⅔ innings.

“I don’t think I was using my lower half very well,” the 23-year-old Silseth explained after the game, saying that he got into his head about his mechanics and preparation and showed his emotions too much.

Nevin defended Silseth, who was pulled after giving up a two-run home run to Rays catcher Rene Pinto followed by a single and a walk in the fourth, “You’re gonna have a hiccup once in a while,” Nevin said. “You’re not gonna have your best stuff sometimes. And it was a grind for him and it’s one that he’s gonna learn from.”

Mistakes became an asset for the Angels in the first game when rookie Nolan Schanuel and Mike Moustakas scored on passed balls by Pinto in the third inning. Schanuel got his second major league hit after being called up Friday.

“Good teams take advantage of mistakes,” Nevin said after the first game. “We certainly did a couple times today, but we also swung the bats very well.”

Griffin Canning fared well in relief, giving up two hits and one run over 3⅓ innings. Matt Moore pitched a hitless eighth and Reynaldo López earned the save with a scoreless ninth.


The Angels were riding high going into the second game. Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch to take a home run away from All-Star Yandy Díaz in the second inning. Grichuk also drove in two runs.

Los Angeles Angels left fielder Randal Grichuk leaps at the wall to catch a fly ball.
Angels left fielder Randal Grichuk robs Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz of a home run in the second inning of the Angels’ 7-6 win in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Angel Stadium.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

But then, the Angels made their own mistakes.

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (6-10) pitched three scoreless innings before Osleivis Basabe hit a ground-rule double in the fourth to make it 1-0. The Rays got another run in the fourth, then started to run away in the fifth when Isaac Paredes singled in a run and Curtis Mead followed with a two-run double.

Sandoval’s night ended after he gave up a double to Basabe to make it 6-0. He gave up seven hits and six runs while walking three and striking out four over 4⅔ innings.

Hunter Renfroe homered in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-1. But things got worse for the Angels in the sixth and seventh innings when the Rays pounded reliever Jaime Barría for nine runs and nine hits.

Center fielder Jordyn Adams made a error in the fifth and missed a line drive in the sixth inning, allowing the Rays to score two runs and souring his first two major league hits. He made his debut three weeks ago.


“You feel terrible for him, you know,” Nevin said, adding that he thought Adams swung the bat great. “Those things unfortunately happen once in a while and maybe once in a career. Just happened at a bad time, unfortunately some things unraveled after that.”

Adams took full responsibility of the second error, saying he got to the ball late. “It was me,” he said. “I’m the center fielder, I gotta take charge.”

While he will be keeping his first major league hit, his mistakes weighed on him. “I got to produce on both ends of the game, it’s not a one-sided game,” Adams said.

The Angels called up first baseman Nolan Schanuel, a player they drafted 11th overall in last month’s MLB draft, after he played only 21 minor league games.

Aug. 18, 2023

Nevin started saving the bullpen once the game started to get away from them. “Unfortunately Jaime had to take the brunt of that,” he said. “But I thought Sandy pitched very well for four plus.”

With the Angels ailing, there’s still no timetable on Mike Trout’s return from injury.

Recapping the series between the Angels and Tampa Bay Rays and what comes next for the Angels.