15-inning loss takes toll on Angels' pitching staff

August 31st, 2019

ANAHEIM -- It’s a good thing that rosters expand on Sunday.

The Angels were forced to use eight pitchers in a 7-6 loss to the Red Sox in 15 innings on Friday that saw right-hander Trevor Cahill give up a go-ahead homer to Mookie Betts with two outs in the 15th. It was the second-longest game of the season for the Angels, who lost in 16 frames to the Orioles on July 25.

The loss overshadowed a big night from , who finished the night 4-for-8 with three RBIs, including a game-tying single with one out in the ninth that forced extras. homered twice to aid in the comeback.

"Any time you lose in extra innings after tying it in the ninth is deflating," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "The [relievers] all seemed to contribute in some fashion. Even Cahill before the homer, he pitched pretty well overall and pitched himself out of trouble the previous inning. The pitching held up after the first three innings."

After allowing two runs in the sixth, Angels relievers combined to throw eight straight scoreless innings until Betts crushed a first-pitch cutter from Cahill. Betts also smacked a leadoff blast off Jose Suarez in the first, making him just the second player to homer in the first inning and the 15th inning or later, joining Boston's Vern Stephens in 1951, according to Stats Inc.

"I was just trying to get ahead,” Cahill said. “I don't think I've been beat on a cutter away to a righty this year on a homer, but I think I was a little overconfident trying to pour it through the zone. Against a guy like that with two outs and nobody on, he's trying to do damage."

Suarez gave up four runs over five innings, keyed by allowing two homers, and Noe Ramirez gave up two runs in the sixth, but then the Angels’ bullpen retired 20 straight batters until Brock Holt drew a leadoff walk in the 13th.

The Angels relied on several pitchers to go more than one inning, including Miguel Del Pozo (1 2/3 innings), Luis Garcia (1 1/3 innings), closer Hansel Robles (two innings) and Ty Buttrey (two innings). Only right-hander Keynan Middleton, making his second appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery, went one inning. Cahill threw a scoreless 14th. The only reliever on the roster who didn’t see action was Cam Bedrosian, who hasn’t pitched since Wednesday.

"They were going pretty good,” Cahill said. “With the way it was going, I thought they were going to need me tomorrow. But it just kept staying the same. So it's a tough loss."

Relievers on the 40-man roster who could be brought in for reinforcements come Sunday include Luke Bard, Taylor Cole, Jake Jewell and Jose Rodriguez. Justin Anderson is about a week away from returning from a right trap strain.

"It's tough,” Cahill said of the loss. “But it's not as crazy as the Baltimore game. We just have to bounce back tomorrow. They have a good team, and it's a good chance for us to show them what we've got."