Silenced bats, defensive miscues sink Halos

July 4th, 2024

OAKLAND -- The Angels had hopes of keeping their positive momentum rolling as the calendar turned to July.

In two games this month, things have hardly gone according to plan, however. Los Angeles managed just five hits and didn’t advance a runner past second base in a 5-0 loss to the Oakland A’s on Wednesday night.

Rookie right-hander Joey Estes went the distance for the A’s and recorded the franchise’s first complete-game shutout since Sean Manaea threw one on June 2, 2021.

Los Angeles arrived in Oakland having won six of its previous seven and finished June with a 15-11 record. But the Angels have dropped the first two against the A’s and will try to avoid a sweep in Thursday’s holiday matinee.

They’re also crossing their fingers regarding third baseman , who left Wednesday’s game in the top of the ninth after feeling pain in his right wrist following a swing. He was scheduled to get imaging done on his wrist after the game.

“He’s still getting evaluated,” manager Ron Washington said. “We haven’t come up with anything yet. He just said his wrist hurt.”

Rengifo is hitting .315, the fourth-best average among qualified Major Leaguers.

With their bats held quiet, the Angels had little margin for error in the field, and it was a rough night in that department as well. They only committed one error but made it tough on themselves with several other defensive miscues that weren’t accounted for in the scorebook.

The A’s scored twice in the second to take a 2-0 lead. That rally began when shortstop juggled a slow grounder off the bat of Zack Gelof that went for an infield single. Neto was upset with himself after the game for other plays he didn’t come up with.

“Those are plays I should have made,” he said. “I should make those plays and I didn’t.”

But the Angels had a chance to keep the A’s off the board in the second. With runners on the corners and one out, Angels starting pitcher fielded a comebacker that could have become an inning-ending double play. But his low throw got past second baseman Brandon Drury and allowed the first run to score.

“We’re in the big leagues,” Washington said. “That’s a good throw. The second baseman has got to make an adjustment on that. … As long as that ball don’t touch the ground, we’ve gotta catch the ball and make the play.”

Daniel (1-1) blamed himself for not making a better throw on the comebacker. After throwing eight scoreless innings in his first Major League start on June 27, the right-hander gave up seven hits and five runs (four earned) over 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday.

He gave up solo homers to Max Schuemann and Brent Rooker in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively.

“Obviously, the two hanging sliders they hit out are not the pitches we wanted there,” Daniel said. “But outside of those two pitches and the mistake on the throw to second, I felt like I was in command of the fastball. Maybe I was searching a little bit for the breaking ball throughout the game, but I felt like I was able to get back into counts with the heater. In the end, you’ve gotta take the good and the bad and learn from it and move on.”