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Angels fail to capitalize against non-Cy Young candidate, lose 8-7

SWEET LINCOLN’S MULLET the Angels drop this one in excruciating fashion.

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Angels 7 Blue Jays 8

In a battle of starting pitchers trying to find themselves, Alex Meyer and (former Angel, kinda) Mat Latos had a go at it tonight. The Angels played this as a one-time Meyer start, though they said they would “reevaluate” as they saw fit. Reading between the lines, Meyer had the opportunity to seize a rotation spot.

Unfortunately, the Angels best pitching prospect continued to do his rendition of Hot N’ Cold by Katy Perry. He dominated the first and second inning but scuffled afterwards, pulled with bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning (Jose Alvarez left ‘em stranded, but not before he nearly gave up a grand slam to Darwin Barney that sliced inches left of the LF foul pole). Meyer’s final line was 3.2 IP, 2 earned runs, 3 K, 4 BB. Command eluded him once again.

The Angels hit the ball hard against Mat Latos early but didn’t get anything to show for it until the third inning, when tonight’s superhero DH Albert Pujols lined a grounder down the third base line for a bases-clearing 3 RBI double, giving the Angels a 3-2 lead. He also tagged up on Gold Glove winner Kevin Pillar earlier, but who’s watching?

On an impressive display of strength, Mike F’ing Trout hit an opposite field home run into the right-center bleachers on a first pitch well outside the strike zone in the fifth.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched a solid three innings (though one run was given due to a Yunel Escobar ‘couldn’t catch a popup’ catastrophe and Simba airmailing a throw. Bud Norris started the 8th shaky, allowing two runners to reach base, at which point Cam Bedrosian came in and gave up a Smoak double smoked down the first base line, allowing both runs to score.

The Angels responded with a ferocious Jefry Marte pinch hit home run double (almost) off the foul pole and ricocheted back into left field, knocking in Danny Espinosa to tie it up at 5.

But none of the good mattered tonight.

This game from the start felt winnable for the struggling teams, though unexcitingly sloshing along like soggy boots in knee-deep rain. The Angels used all of their relievers, and so Joey Bautista hit a go-ahead 3 run shot off Jesse Chavez in the top of the 13th inning.

Maybin and Espinosa walks brought up Graterol, who reached on a Chris Coghlan fielding error to load up the bases in the bottom of the 13th. Kole Calhoun (Kalhum) broke out of his slump to go oppo single, and Trouty got HBP to trail 8-7.

With the bases loaded, Albert Pujols struck out and C.J. Cron flew out to center. Building us all up, only to tear us all down. Twice.

Life is pain...and buttercup. In a 13-inning, 5 hours and 40 minute game, the atmosphere was one of a slow, drawn out death march, an unexciting game full of missed opportunities where the team left 13 on base. Latos probably should have been tagged for more runs, the defense was silly, hitters could have hit mistake pitches a long way. But he wasn’t, the 6th inning defense was unacceptable, and they didn’t.

I’d like to put a positive spin on this one, but I can’t. This one’s disappointing and it’s going to sting and it’s going to hurt. On yet another night where the Angels didn’t face a Dallas Keuchel or Yu Darvish or James Paxton or Lance McCullers or Cy Young, they dropped another game, their 9th loss in the last 10 games.

Seasons aren’t won in April but they can be lost. Let’s hope they turn it around. And quickly.