The Angels had a rough week back in 1979, dropping five of seven games, and after getting swept suddenly find themselves in a dogfight with the three-time reigning American League West champs.
The weekend at home was awful for the Angels, who dropped three straight to the Royals, division winners from 1976-78. Kansas City outscored the Angels 27-11 in the series, and pulled to within two games of California.
Texas is also just two games back, and the Angels were able to split four games with the Rangers to open last week. That started with a shutout by Nolan Ryan with 10 strikeouts on Monday, in which he came within five outs of a record fifth no-hitter.
A one-out single in the eighth inning by Oscar Gamble dashed those hopes, but the Angels cruised to a 5-0 win.
“Any time you get that close to it, you think about it,” Ryan told the Los Angeles Times. “I’d be lying to you if I told you that wasn’t true.”
Against Kansas City on Friday, Ryan was knocked around for seven runs, including a home run by Frank White.
A little over six weeks after he was traded by the Rangers, Angels shortstop Bert Campaneris played a big role in two wins against his old team. He doubled, singled and scored twice in Monday’s win, then had two hits and stole three bases in Wednesday’s triumph.
“They want to have an excuse,” Campaneris said of his old team, per the LA Times. “They’re going to find out when the season’s over what I can do.”
Bobby Grich hit his 16th home run of the season on Tuesday, briefly tying Fred Lynn for AL lead, to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games. Grich hit .400/.488/.857 with nine home runs and 20 RBI and 17 runs scored during the streak.
The streak was snapped Wednesday, but Grich had a hit in every other game last week, hitting .391 (9-for-23) with three extra-base hits in three games.
24 runs scored (3.43 per game)
36 runs allowed (5.14 per game)
.323 pythagorean record
409 runs scored (5.75 per game)
343 runs allowed (4.58 per game)
.580 pythagorean record (43-31)
AL West standing: 1st place, 2 games up on the Royals and Rangers
- Monday, June 18: Angels 5, Rangers 0
- Tuesday, June 19: Rangers 2, Angels 1
- Wednesday, June 20: Angels 5, Rangers 4
- Thursday, June 21: Rangers 3, Angels 2 (11)
- Friday, June 22: Royals 9, Angels 5
- Saturday, June 23: Royals 13, Angels 4
- Sunday, June 24: Royals 5, Angels 2
The Angels must face their top two pursuers in the division next week, though this time they hit the road, playing three games in Texas followed by a weekend series in Kansas City.