Angels' home struggles continue against Cleveland

May 27th, 2024

ANAHEIM -- After winning back-to-back road series against the Rangers and Astros and only losing in extra innings, the Angels hoped to carry some of that momentum home into their series against the Guardians.

But the Angels can’t seem to find a way to win at home this season as they sustained a three-game sweep by Cleveland, punctuated by a 5-4 loss in the series finale on Sunday at Angel Stadium. The Angels are 14-14 on the road this year but just 6-19 at home, and it doesn’t get any easier with the AL-leading Yankees coming to town for a three-game set that starts Tuesday.

Manager Ron Washington said he doesn’t have a reason for why his team has had so much trouble at home but simply believes getting key hits will snap them out of their funk. They didn’t have many opportunities Sunday, going 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

“I don’t have any theories other than that a base hit would work in those situations,” Washington said. “A base hit in some of those situations will take care of everything.”

Lefty took a bit of a step forward after he had allowed at least four runs in each of his last six starts but it wasn’t enough, as he had problems with his control.

He went five-plus innings, allowing three runs on four hits with eight strikeouts, four walks and a hit by pitch.

He was wild in the third inning, hitting Andrés Giménez in the head with a 95-mph fastball and walking José Ramírez on eight pitches. After a strikeout of Josh Naylor, both Giménez and Ramírez advanced on a double steal. Detmers then walked David Fry before allowing a two-run double to Johnathan Rodriguez on a 0-1 slider over the middle of the plate.

The Angels rallied on a two-run homer from Matt Thaiss in the fifth that went a Statcast-projected 446 feet and Detmers settled down, getting through five frames before going back out for the sixth on 90 pitches. He was removed after giving up a hard-hit single to Rodriguez that Zach Neto couldn’t handle at shortstop to lead off the inning, though. It ended Detmers’ day, but he came away mostly encouraged by his outing.

“There was a lot more positive this week than the last several weeks,” Detmers said. “Command has to be better. Other than that, I felt like I had good stuff. My slider was a little shaky, but my stuff felt good and I just need to command it better.”

But reliever Adam Cimber came in and also struggled with his command. After getting Gabriel Arias to line out to left, he walked Austin Hedges and Brayan Rocchio to load the bases and promptly hit Tyler Freeman to bring home the go-ahead run.

It was the first time this season that Cimber had allowed an inherited runner to score, as he had previously stranded all 15 runners he had inherited. He then gave up an RBI single to Giménez before lefty Matt Moore was brought in to face Ramírez. Moore, though, walked Ramírez on four pitches to bring home another run.

“It was just one of those days,” Cimber said. “I felt a little out of sync. My timing was a little off. It’s tough because I wanted to get the job done for Reid. But [Moore] came in and picked me up.”

The Angels nearly made a late comeback and also saw two strong defensive plays keep them in the game in the eighth inning.

Neto made a perfect throw home to get Freeman at the plate with the infield in, and Jo Adell robbed Ramírez of what would’ve been his fourth homer of the series.

“It was awesome,” Adell said. “I’ve been scuffling at the plate the last few days, so to come through in that way and keep us close was big. It gave us a chance to fight for it.”

The Angels made it a one-run game with two runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Luis Rengifo and Kevin Pillar with two outs. Adell had the chance to be the hero with two on but struck out against reliever Scott Barlow on a 3-2 slider out of the zone.

“Approach-wise, my focus fell off a little bit towards the end of that at-bat,” Adell said. “I really wanted to stay in and keep the ball a little closer. And I ended up chasing the slider away. That's a pitch I need to work on laying off. Hopefully, as we continue to move forward that's going to be something that I can do a better job of.”