All-around effort helps Halos complete sweep

June 27th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Angels concluded the first half of their schedule with a 5-1 win over the Reds in the series finale on Wednesday, giving them a 41-40 record and putting them on pace to win 82 games this year.

Here’s a look at five key contributors from the win and what it means going forward with the Angels aiming for a better second half and their first postseason berth since 2014.

Bour’s big night

First baseman crushed two homers: a solo shot in the fifth and a three-run blast as part of a four-run eighth inning against Reds closer Rasiel Iglesias. Bour has looked like a different hitter since returning from nearly a month-long stint at Triple-A Salt Lake to work on his mechanics.

Bour hit .163 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 30 games before being sent down on May 14, but he has batted .304 with four homers and nine RBIs in seven games since rejoining the Angels on June 11.

“I’ve felt good for a while now,” Bour said. “Now it’s just a matter of contributing when I get the opportunity. Obviously I’ve been getting playing time sparingly, and I’m just trying to do the most with it when I get the opportunity.”

Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Bour has worked to stand up taller at the plate so he's able to use his hands more with his refined mechanics.

"The guy we've seen since he got the call is the guy we were hoping to see,” Ausmus said. “He's got power and the ability to hit home runs. Struggled a little bit offensively before being sent out, but he looks like the Justin that we signed."

Fletcher comes up clutch

Third baseman plated the go-ahead run with an RBI single with two outs in the eighth on a grounder between shortstop and third. He also made two terrific defensive plays on grounders hit down the line by Eugenio Suarez in both the first and sixth innings. He’ll continue to see action all over the infield going forward even with shortstop Andrelton Simmons expected to return on Thursday.

"The thing he does best is he makes contact," Ausmus said. "That ball he hit today, he didn't hit it extremely hard but he runs well and forced the defense to make a play, and it was in a spot where they weren't able to make a play."

Ohtani continues to hit even after throwing

Earlier in the afternoon, threw his first bullpen session since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1 and proved it had no effect on his hitting ability. Ohtani went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and a stolen base.

His double in the fourth was the hardest-hit ball of his career with an exit velocity of 115.2 mph according to Statcast, while his single in the eighth helped move Mike Trout to third to set up Fletcher’s RBI single.

"He actually had a very good day offensively at the plate," Ausmus said. "It was a day where across the board for both teams it wasn't exactly easy to hit because of the shadows and sunlight. He hit the ball solidly three times, walked and stole a base."

Barria fills in capably

Right-hander , recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game, was solid in his first big league outing since June 6 and his first start since April 16. He gave up one run on three hits with six strikeouts over five innings. The lone run he allowed came on a solo homer by Yasiel Puig on a 1-0 slider in the fifth.

Barria, who was solid with a 3.41 ERA in 26 stars as a rookie last year, showed he can be counted on to make spot starts going forward.

"I can control what I can control,” Barria said through an interpreter. “I come here to pitch, to do the things that I'm asked and do them well. Whether I'm up or I'm down, that's their decision, but I'm in control of coming here and throwing well."

Cahill adapts to new role

Right-hander threw two scoreless frames in his new role as a reliever after being activated from the 10-day injured list prior to the game. He pitched around a leadoff double in the sixth and a leadoff single and a stolen base in the seventh. He has experience as a reliever and the Angels are hopeful he’ll fare better than he did as a starter, as he entered Wednesday with a 7.18 ERA on the year.

"That went well," Ausmus said. "There will be times where he'll go longer than that. It just wasn't necessary today."