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Short start puts Angels in hole they can’t dig out of

A struggling bullpen was asked to get 22 outs in this one. It did not go well.

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Angels bullpen has been a problem this week, but in Friday’s series opener against the Astros the Halos relievers were put in a tough spot. Tasked with relief work beginning in the second inning, the Angels fell behind early and took on just enough water to sink, losing 9-6 to the Astros on Friday night.

It’s the third straight loss for the Angels, despite scoring 18 runs in those games. They are now 2-6.

Matt Andriese on Friday had the mirror image of his Sunday effort, when he filled in with aplomb after Shohei Ohtani couldn’t get an out. Andriese pitched 5⅔ scoreless frames in that game against Oakland, but getting a start Friday against Houston he could only record five outs, and left trailing 4-0.

Angels relievers had to record 22 outs in this one, and they used eight different pitchers to do it. The bullpen allowed five runs, which believe it or not was an improvement over earlier in the week, but it meant the six runs put up by the Angels offense was for naught.

Cam Bedrosian was the first reliever out of the gate in this one, pitching into the fourth after relieving Andriese. Bedrosian, who recorded five outs while allowing a run, talked about the difference in pitching games this season in empty stadiums.

“Just having a crowd, people yelling there in front of you just raises that adrenaline a lot,” Bedrosian said before the game on a conference call. “You kind of just have to focus in a little more on what you’re doing, prepare yourself a little better.”

But without the crowd, how does Bedrosian find that adrenalin?

“Oh, there’s a lot of Red Bull,” Bedrosian said. “But as far as everything else, it’s kind of the same. It’s just one of those things. For me at least, I’m trying to stay in my same routine as usual.”

Production at the top

Brian Goodwin hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, and added an RBI triple in the eighth. Both extra-base hits scored David Fletcher, who doubled, singled, and walked twice, scoring three times from the leadoff spot.

Fletcher reached base four times for the third time in his last six games, and is hitting .400 (12 for 30) with a .486 on-base percentage in the early going. Goodwin, who batted ninth in his first four starts this season, has batted second the last two nights in place of Mike Trout. Goodwin is hitting .450 (9 for 20) with a team-leading five extra-base hits. Again, it’s early, but those two are red hot.

Not so fun fact

The Angels walked a season-best 12 times on offense Friday, but only two of those walks scored. It’s just the fifth time in franchise history they’ve lost a game in which they walked at least 12 times.

Friday particulars

Home run: Brian Goodwin (2)

WP — Brandon Bielak (2-0): 2 IP, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

LP — Matt Andriese (0-1): 1⅔ IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Sv — Andre Scrubb (1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Up next

These two teams are back at it again on Saturday, a 4:07 p.m. PT first pitch and televised by Fox. a Griffin Canning starts on the mound for the Angels, facing Zack Greinke, a former Angel.