Noah Syndergaard gave a revamped Angels bullpen a much-needed breather Monday night by throwing 7 1/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals after the assists hit 19 innings in a five-game, four-day streak in Seattle.
The Angels’ offense did Syndergaard no such favor, mustering two runs and seven hits in a 6-2 loss before 22,234 at Angel Stadium, their three-game winning streak was continued by a last-place team with a 24-42 Record broken.
It wasn’t an aberration. Mike Trout may be baseball’s hottest hitter, but an Angels offense that hit .250 with a .747 percent on-base-plus-slugging percentage and averaged 4.7 runs per game in April and May beats .202 with one League-worst .202. 590 OPS and 207 strikeouts and averaging 2.75 runs in 20 games in June.
“We hit some balls hard – sometimes they don’t fall,” said Phil Nevin, Angels interim manager. “I thought we had some good bats throughout. I mean, were they consistent throughout? Probably not, but we hit a lot of balls hard tonight.”
Trout hit five home runs to help the Angels win four of five games in Seattle and when he smoked a single to left field in the first inning in front of Royals left-hander Kris Bubic, who went 0-4 -Record and earned 8.36 – On average, Nevin believed the Angels were headed for a good offensive night.
“If Trouty hits a ball in his first shot, you sit here and you’re like, ‘Okay, our guy came in today,'” Nevin said. “You think the boys will roll tonight.”
But the Angels managed just two runs and six hits in six innings ahead of Bubic, who hit seven and walked two to earn his first win, and they couldn’t put a dent in the Royals’ bullpen, which spanned the last three innings.
Syndergaard, down to 4-6 this season, did what he could to keep the Angels in the game. He was flagged for two runs in his first four pitches. Whit Merrifield led the game with a single and Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run homer down right field to take a 2-0 lead before Syndergaard two-hit stunned Kansas City from second through fifth.
Taylor Ward teased the Angels with a solo homer in the third and an RBI single in the fifth, but Nicky Lopez’ two-out, RBI double in the seventh gave the Royals a 3-2 lead and Salvador Perez knocked Syndergaard out of the Played with a booming two-run homer to midfield in the eighth for a 5-2 lead. A solo homer by Hunter Dozier from Angels reliever Jaime Barria made it 6-2 in the eighth.
“Yes, I felt like I was cruising most of the time, made it to eighth place,” said Syndergaard, who gave up five runs and eight hits, five struck and two walked. “But if you look at the last line, it kind of doesn’t matter.”
However, Nevin believed that Syndergaard’s efforts had an overriding importance. The team’s top three late-inning relievers — closer Raisel Iglesias and setup men Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup — had pitched Saturday and Sunday respectively and were unavailable Monday night.
“I won’t go into what was available [in the bullpen], which isn’t, but we didn’t have much,” Nevin said. “So for him to get eighth place… it was brave. It was a veteran who understood what we did that weekend. To have Noah dig in so deeply and protect those guys, protect his teammates, on the pen tonight, has been huge for us as this series progresses.”
Matt Duffy made his fifth start at third base in the seven games the Angels have played without Anthony Rendon, who underwent season-ending surgery Monday to repair a dislocated tendon in his right wrist.
Rendon, who has so far had minimal return on the seven-year $245 million investment the Angels put in him ahead of 2020, also had his 2021 season cut short in early July with a right hip injury.
“Obviously this is disappointing news,” Angels general manager Perry Minasian said ahead of the game. “I feel really bad for him. He was really motivated to play a big season for us. It was something he wanted to play through that a lot of guys wouldn’t have, but it was too painful.”
Minasian is exploring a possible trade for a third baseman — “We’re always trying to improve, short-term, long-term,” he said — but right-handed Duffy expects to get the majority of starts there for now. with left-hander Tyler Wade as a backup. David Fletcher would be a strong contender for third base when he returns from his adductor surgery in July.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-06-20/angels-royals-game-noah-syndergaard Noah Syndergaard gets little help in Angels’ loss to Royals