Angels 5 Marlins 2
Behind yet another dominant outing by JC Ramirez, the Angels managed to take the second game of their series against the Marlins by a 5-2 margin. Ramirez permitted just one unearned run in 7 masterful innings, punching out three and allowing seven hits. Ramirez started opposite fellow reliever-turned-starter Vance Worley, who was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning after allowing a pair of runs.
Worley’s most notable moment came in the first inning when he delivered a center-cut 87-mph fastball to Mike Trout. Trout promptly ripped the mistake 443 feet to left field for his 16th long ball of the season.
The game’s most pivotal moment came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Miami put runners on first and second with two outs and the top of the order coming up. The speedy Dee Gordon then grounded a ball up the middle that would have scored the game-tying run, but, as he often does, Andrelton Simmons came to the rescue, making a diving stop just as the ball had reached the outfield grass, which forced the lead runner to hold at third.
But they weren’t out of danger just yet, as the powerful Giancarlo Stanton strolled to the plate with the bases loaded. Ramirez got him to chase a first-pitch breaking ball out of the zone, and it would only take one more pitch for Ramirez to get out of the jam. But not because he got the best of Stanton; Martin Maldonado made sure he didn’t need to, firing down to first immediately after receiving the second pitch of the at-bat to catch Gordon off guard and allow Ramirez to escape unscathed.
The Angels added a run in the third on a Simmons groundout and tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the eighth courtesy of a Luis Valbuena bloop single with the bases loaded and one in the ninth on a Simmons double.
Miami’s first run came in the first inning when Simmons tried to do a little too much. With a runner on first and two outs, Marcell Ozuna hit a sharp one-hopper back up the middle. Nolan Fontana fielded the ball almost directly behind second base and flipped it to Simmons, but the high hop off the mound resulted in a tough play and allowed the runner, Christian Yelich, to reach second before Simmons could. And instead of just holding the ball, Simmons attempted to get the out at first—which appeared to be a near-impossible feat—and threw the ball wildly and into the camera well next to the first-base dugout, advancing both runners two bases.
It was mostly smooth sailing for Ramirez the rest of the way, however, as he recorded nine ground-ball outs and a couple of key double plays. Ramirez’s ERA is now down to 3.38, and he’s yielded two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts.
Jose Alvarez had a nice bounce-back outing in the eighth, setting down the side in order and striking out two. And Bud Norris had a somewhat shaky ninth, giving up an opposite field homer to Ozuna, but he ultimately secured the Angels’ victory to get the club back to .500 at 26-26.
Matt Shoemaker will take the mound tomorrow looking to lead the Angels to their second consecutive series win. He’ll oppose right-hander Jose Urena.