Problem is, both four-game losing streaks have come in the Angels’ last nine games. It was just 10 days ago they took the first two games against a red-hot A’s team in Anaheim, and had visions of a momentum-building sweep.
But instead, that turned out to be the only time so far this season the Angels won two games in a row.
Andrew Heaney was the last Angels’ starter to last five innings, recording 17 outs last Saturday at home. Things looked bleak early in this one, allowing a home run to Marcus Semien on the game’s first pitch, plus two more rocket doubles and three total runs in the first inning. All three extra-base hits in the inning had exit velocities over 100 mph, a threshold reached six times (plus another 99.5-mph hit) by Oakland off Heaney on Friday.
But then Heaney settled down, and for a while it looked like he might be able to provide the Angels the deep start their beleaguered pitching staff desperately needs. It was a microcosm of the season, with a bad start followed by talking yourself into a hopeful turnaround, only to be let down once again.
Heaney’s reckoning came in the fifth, when he came within one out of completing the frame, only do be done in by consecutive doubles from Mark Canha and Matt Olson for a run. An bequeathed runner scored after Heaney left, charging five to his ledger.
In the six games since Heaney’s start last Saturday, Angels starters have allowed 26 runs in 22 innings. That’s no way to live.
“It sucks,” Heaney said. “Losing sucks.”
Even with the early deficit, we still got a few memorable moments from the Angels on offense.
In the fifth inning, David Fletcher, who started at his third different position of the season, did the seemingly impossible at the plate, hitting a pitch up around his eye level for a double.
Fletcher scored the Angels’ first run, naturally on a single by Anthony Rendon, who is absolutely scorching hot right now.
Rendon singled in the first, fourth, and fifth innings, then led off the ninth with another single. That made for the third straight inning the Angels brought the tying run to the plate, but they scored no runs in the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings.
Rendon has 22 hits in his last 42 at-bats (.524) during his 11-game hit streak. He’s driven in at least a run in all but one game during the streak, with 12 RBI in total. He’s had five multi-hit games in a row, the longest streak by an Angel since Mike Trout from June 23-27, 2016.
Fletcher also did this in the field in the bottom of the sixth, robbing Sean Murphy of a hit.
David. Fletcher.— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 22, 2020
Routine infield play for #22 pic.twitter.com/8QS3vuX6yY
“I love David on the dirt,” manager Joe Maddon said before the game. “I mean, the guy can play a lot of different places, but he’s an elite infielder from what I’m seeing.”
Home run: Marcus Semien (4)
WP — Mike Fiers (3-1): 5⅓ IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP — Andrew Heaney (1-2): 4⅔ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Sv — Liam Hendriks (9): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
Griffin Canning starts on the mound Saturday afternoon (1:10 p.m. PT; Fox Sports West, MLB Network), facing off against Chris Bassitt for the third time this season. Oakland won the previous two matchups, on July 27 in Oakland and August 12 in Anaheim.