Home SPORTS Angels meltdown ends with Phillies walk-off home run for 11th consecutive loss

Angels meltdown ends with Phillies walk-off home run for 11th consecutive loss

by Bioreports

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani walks back to the dugout after striking out.

Shohei Ohtani walks back to the dugout after striking out against Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth inning of the Angels’ 9-7 loss Sunday. (Derik Hamilton / Bioreports)

The Angels found a new and inventive way to lose a baseball game Sunday.

Closer Raisel Iglesias gave up a score-tying grand slam in the eighth inning to Bryce Harper, and Jimmy Herget gave up a three-run homer to Bryson Stott in the ninth, as the Philadelphia Phillies stormed back for a 9-7 walk-off victory before a crowd of 34,801 in Citizens Bank Park, extending the Angels’ losing streak to 11.

The Angels scored five runs in the fourth inning — equaling their offensive output in the first five games of the road trip — and tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on Brandon Marsh’s two-out RBI single for a 6-2 lead.

Angels reliever Ryan Tepera retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, and left-hander Aaron Loup took over in the bottom of the eighth, which began with an Odubel Herrera single to left field.

Johan Camargo hit a soft grounder to the left of third baseman Matt Duffy, who fielded the ball cleanly but threw into right field for an error, putting runners on first and third. Stott grounded into a fielder’s choice, the runners holding, but Loup walked Kyle Schwarber to load the bases with one out.

Angels manager Joe Maddon summoned Iglesias, who hadn’t pitched since May 27. The right-hander struck out Rhys Hoskins with a 90-mph changeup for the second out and battled Harper during a seven-pitch at-bat in which he threw five changeups.

But his final off-speed offering, an 89.5-mph changeup, was left over the middle of the plate. Harper, the 2021 National League most valuable player, had Iglesias timed and crushed a 426-foot shot into the right-field seats for his sixth career grand slam and a 6-6 tie.

The Angels did not fold, though. Kurt Suzuki opened the top of the ninth with a walk off Corey Knebel. Tyler Wade bunted into a fielder’s choice, stole second and took third on pinch-hitter Luis Rengifo’s groundout to shortstop.

Duffy then shot an opposite-field grounder that snuck under the glove of the sliding Hoskins at first base and into right field for an RBI single and a 7-6 Angels lead.

But Iglesias gave up a one-out single to Alec Bohm and a two-out single to Didi Gregorious in the ninth, and Herget gave up the homer to Stott. Game over.

Duffy sparked the five-run fourth with a leadoff single to right-center field. He took third on Shohei Ohtani’s double to right. Mike Trout took a close full-count pitch from Phillies starter Kyle Gibson for ball four to load the bases.

Jared Walsh lined a two-run single to right field for a 2-0 lead, giving the Angels their first multiple-run inning in five games on the trip. Jo Adell, recalled from triple-A Sunday morning, beat out a chopper to third base for an RBI infield single and a 3-0 lead.

Marsh grounded into a fielder’s choice, Walsh taking third, and Kurt Suzuki hit an RBI single to center, scoring Walsh for a 4-0 lead and advancing Marsh to third.

Tyler Wade tapped a two-strike bunt to first baseman Rhys Hoskins for an RBI fielder’s choice, Hoskins throwing high to second for an error, and a 5-0 lead.

The Phillies cut the lead to 5-2 in the fifth when Hoskins was hit by a pitch, Harper doubled to right, Nick Castellanos hit a sacrifice fly to right and J.T. Realmuto hit an RBI groundout to first.

Alec Bohm singled. Maddon summoned left-hander Jose Quijada, who walked Herrera but struck out Camargo with a 96-mph fastball to end the inning.

The day began with the Angels placing right fielder Taylor Ward on the 10-day injured list because of a mild right-hamstring strain and recalling Adell from Salt Lake.

Ward was one of baseball’s best hitters through mid-May, batting .370 with a 1.194 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, nine homers and 23 RBIs in his first 30 games.

But he hasn’t been the same since slamming face-first into the wall to catch a fly ball and suffering a stinger in his neck and right shoulder May 20, hitting .167 (four for 24) with one homer and three RBIs in his last eight games.

Ward’s hamstring tightened up during Friday night’s game, and he sat out Saturday night’s game. Ward also missed opening day because of a groin injury and missed a few games because of a hamstring injury in mid-May. He has played in only 38 of the team’s 55 games.

“Absolutely,” Ward said, when asked if he’s getting tired of all his nagging injuries. “It is really, really annoying.”

Ward’s latest setback opened an opportunity for Adell, who hit .215 with a .627 in the first month of the season before getting demoted to Salt Lake in early May.

Adell hit .478 (11 for 23) with five homers and 10 RBIs in his first eight triple-A games but .122 (5 for 41) with one homer and five RBIs in his last 12 games.

“He had such a good start, then a little bit of a struggle, but we know what that feels like,” Maddon said before the game. “Let’s get him up here, see if we can turn him loose a bit, see if he can help us.”

The Angels demoted Ward because they thought he would be better off playing every day in the minor leagues rather than sporadically in the big leagues. Adell should get more playing time while Ward is out, but Maddon did not commit to Adell playing every day.

“I’m gonna have to make that work,” Adell said. “That’s something I have to adjust to. It’s a competitive team with a lot of good players, and I’m not necessarily gonna be out there every day. The days I am, try to compete.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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