Detmers blanks Red Sox with 6 1/3 frames of dominant ball

Angels capitalize on mistakes by Boston to stake southpaw to early lead

April 13th, 2024

BOSTON -- The advantageous Angels came into Boston and got to work immediately, riding another strong start from Reid Detmers, and a three-run first inning to a 7-0 victory on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Detmers was massive in helping Los Angeles record its first shutout of the season, as the southpaw tossed 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, allowing two walks while striking out seven.

In the process, he became the first Angels pitcher to win his first three games of the season since Jered Weaver won six straight games to open up the 2011 season.

“They’ve been good so far,” Detmers said of his starts this season. “I’m just going out there and competing, that’s the main thing. I’m not trying to do too much, using what I have and trying to get a ‘W.’”

“Tremendous confidence,” manager Ron Washington said of his starter. “He kept them off balance all night. Another great outing. We needed it. It seems like every time we’ve needed it, he’s stepped up. I couldn’t ask for more from him.”

Detmers admitted after the game that he didn’t have his best stuff early on but continued to progress as the game went on.

A pair of double plays over the first two innings allowed him to quickly eliminate runners and stay on track as he continued to work to find his stuff.

“That was huge because I knew I didn’t have strikeout stuff early,” Detmers said of the double plays. “I was doing everything possible to get ground balls or weak pop flies, especially with runners on, trying to get those rollover ground balls and have those quick innings.”

Despite only two singles in the opening frame, the Angels’ offense turned Boston’s mishaps against them, staking Detmers to a 3-0 lead.

A hit batter, a throwing error and a wild pitch aided the effort, and when the dust settled, three of the first four Angels hitters had crossed the plate.

“Things didn’t work out for them on the defensive side, to our advantage,” Washington said.

“We’re trying to attack those as much as possible,” added Logan O’Hoppe, who went 1-for-4 with a ground-rule double in the game. “That was definitely a chance that we tried to capitalize on.”

The offense continued to grind, tacking on runs in the third, fourth and six innings, the last two coming off of the bat of Taylor Ward, who sent a 2-1 slider 422 feet, clearing everything in left-center field for a two-run bomb, his fourth home run of the season.

The Angels’ bats managed to pound out 12 hits on the night, and their seven runs tied their second highest output of the season.

All three of Detmers’ wins on the season have come following Angels losses, and he has now struck out 26 batters to start the season. He is only the fifth pitcher in franchise history to have 26 or more strikeouts through the first three games of the season. Nolan Ryan did it four times, while Andrew Heaney, Jered Weaver and Shohei Ohtani each did it once.

“I think he’s grown from all the games and all the innings that he’s pitched, and learned a lot from them,” noted Washington. “The things that he is doing, he is doing the way he wants to do them. All he has to do now is keep his concentration, keep his focus, keep his work ethic, and every time you go out there, try to do the same thing.”