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Angels tripped up by defensive miscues

Offense ticks up, but it's not enough to fend off Pirates
August 14, 2019

ANAHEIM -- A Mike Trout error is as rare as a Bigfoot sighting, but on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, the Halos’ all-everything perennial MVP candidate committed his third error of the season, two more than he had in the previous two seasons combined. Trout glided toward right-center to cut

ANAHEIM -- A Mike Trout error is as rare as a Bigfoot sighting, but on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, the Halos’ all-everything perennial MVP candidate committed his third error of the season, two more than he had in the previous two seasons combined.

Trout glided toward right-center to cut off Kevin Newman’s hit into the gap in the second inning, only to have the ball take a hop off the heel of his glove.

Box score

The Angels’ woes have grown to the point that not even Trout is immune as they fell, 10-7, to Pittsburgh, one day after losing by eight runs to a team that entered the series on an eight-game losing streak.

Griffin Canning returned to the rotation from the injured list, but otherwise it was more of the same for the Angels in the defeat.

“I threw a lot of balls,” said Canning about a first inning when he threw 30 pitches, but did not give up a run. “Just my first game back in a while, just kind of getting back into that rhythm and that feel.”

There was a bit more offense on display, but early defensive woes and a shaky bullpen left the Angels with a 10th defeat in their last 12 games.

Albert Pujols’ first-inning RBI single tied him with Adrian Beltre for 15th on the all-time hit list. It also tied Beltre for most hits by a player born outside the United States. And David Fletcher had four hits and reached base five times following a rare off-day.

The game looked promising when the Angels took a 4-0 lead after two innings, and Canning looked sharp early in his return from shoulder inflammation. Trout’s error came in the second inning, but the Pirates were still scoreless.

Pitsburgh then scored two runs on one play in the third inning when Josh Bell dunked an RBI single to left field. Justin Upton threw the ball to third base, where no defender was standing. Canning picked up the ball and threw it into center field with Bell trying to advance to second. Adam Frazier scored on the hit and Bryan Reynolds scored on the error.

“The overthrow to third was a little bit of a strange play,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Third baseman and shortstop going out, left fielder coming in, [Canning] went to back up home plate in case the ball’s caught and there’s a tag up. It’s a little different. Ideally, the pitcher floats between third and home and he can cover third. But it’s not a play you see a lot.”

Colin Moran added an RBI single in the third, yet the Angels still led 5-3 heading into the fifth inning before the game unraveled against the Angels’ bullpen.

Canning lasted four innings, giving up three runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Right-hander Taylor Cole came on for Canning in the fifth and recorded two outs while giving up four runs on five hits, including a two-run home run by Bell, his 31st.

It was the third outing of at least four runs this month for Cole, who took the loss. He finished June with a 2.94 ERA. That mark is now up to 5.63.

“To have three of them, obviously, I just think I need to make an adjustment mentally when maybe guys get on or whatnot,” Cole said. “Maybe subconsciously I'm doing something different that I'm not recognizing, but I need to recognize it and figure out what it is, because I put our team in a tough situation when it goes from two, three, four runs versus a run or two. You want a guy that's consistent, that over the long haul can give you good outings.”