ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mike Trout has been hitting clutch and catalyzing a Los Angeles-based attack for the second decade. For most of that first decade, his teammates on the mound weren’t good enough to turn enough of Trout’s big hits into victory.
These angels may be different: when Trout made the last big hit in the fifth inning on Friday night, the five pitchers comfortably rose again.
Trout made a double twice, and Jonathan Diaz threw five impeccable innings in his first start of the season, leading to a 3-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.
After Diaz impressed his teammates by winning a key bout with Juan Soto, the bullpen coldly finished the Angels ’fifth result of the year and the second in a row – the first productive strikes for the normally poor Halos since July 2016. Raisel Iglesias threw the perfect ninth on six fields for his seventh save.
Trout loved to see it all.
“You can’t ask for more than that (from Diaz),” Trout said. “You just can’t. He took the opportunity and showed us what he has. … It was great. All the pitcher staff was great. It was fun to play behind in the center of the field, and we also had a few quick games, so that’s always a plus ”.
Shohei Ahtani also rode for the Angels in their third straight win and 10th in 13 games, including six in a row at Angel Stadium. AL West leaders opened the six-man house at home, moving eight games above 0.500 for the first time since June 2018.
Anthony Randon made the score 0 to 4 with two strikeouts and became a double inning with the bases loaded in his first game against Citizens after leaving them to sign a seven-year deal with free agents for $ 245 million from Angels in December 2019.
Citizens received four blows, getting out of there for the second time. They lost three in a row and 12 out of 15 when they started the last series of their journey with nine games.
Diaz (1-0) struck three shots and four moves, scoring four, taking the place of Jose Suarez’s rotation, who was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake.
“We’ve had a lot of harassment in the area,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “His break ball is really, very good and we were chasing him.”
Diaz, who made his Premier League debut last September, has largely avoided problems after giving up a double on his first inning. The Venezuelan left-hander even made Soto out of frustration hit the bat on the ground after hitting the nasty slider in the fifth.
“He was very kind, very calm,” Angels manager Joe Madonna said of Diaz. “This (season) he’s a little sharper. There’s a chance he’ll get another shot (in rotation) ”.
Joan Adon (1-5) struck out six over five innings with three strokes and three runs of the ball for the Nats.
“He threw the ball well, except for (five) moves,” Martinez said. “It’s a tough lineup. I told him, “(If) you get the first hit, you’re ugly.”
Los Angeles took the lead in the first after Taylor Ward overtook and scored a goal on Otani’s ground in the 14th RBI AL MVP of the season.
The Angels loaded the base in the fifth for Trout, who smashed 108 miles from the base of the central field wall.
“You have a future Hall of Fame member, you go up 0-2 and then the ball goes through the plate,” Martinez said.
Randon was Washington’s sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft, and he played seven increasingly impressive seasons, culminating in his only qualifier for the All-Star Game in 2019, when he topped the RBIs and advanced the Nationals to their first World Series title.
Like most of the expensive purchases of Angels owner Arte Moreno, Randon didn’t come close to matching his previous form after joining Halos. But the Houston native shows flashes of elite talent on the plate, remaining a great outfielder at third base.
Citizens: DH Nelson Cruz went 1-1 after missing two previous games due to back stiffness.
Angels: Communal worker Jose Rojas was sent to make room for Diaz.
Michael Lorenzen (3-1, 3.04 ERA) expects to extend an impressive start to his first season with the Angels and his first season in the major leagues as a starter. He faces former Dodgers prospect Josiah Gray (3-2, 3.12 ERA), who last weekend in San Francisco made six zero-innings with one stroke.
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