The Angels have been a hot mess in 2020, entering the season with playoff aspirations but failing miserably. But two of the brightest lights amid the darkness shone again in Thursday’s 6-2 win over the Rangers.
Dylan Bundy has been one of the best pitchers in the American League all season, and was excellent yet again in this one. Bundy struck out a season-high 12 in his 7⅓ innings. Bundy has lasted at least seven innings four times, most on the team, and is tied for second in the majors this season with 58 innings pitched, behind only Lance Lynn.
Allowing two runs on Thursday, Bundy lowered his ERA to 2.48. He’s fifth in the American League with 67 strikeouts.
Mike Trout is the Angels’ constant bright spot, and his fifth-inning home run Thursday gave him a major league-best 16 home runs on the season. Two weeks ago Trout’s batting average dipped to .255, but Thursday’s two hits marked his seventh multi-hit game in the last 12. Trout is 17-for-42 (.405) during that time, and on the season he’s now hitting a robust .296/.392/.664.
- Jared Walsh is also heating up. His three-run home run in the first inning got the Angels started, and he later tripled. Walsh has an extra-base hit in five of his last seven starts.
- Justin Upton missed his second straight game on Thursday after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand twice during Tuesday’s game. Manager Joe Maddon said Upton was feeling better on Thursday, and took batting practice before Thursday’s game.
- David Fletcher, out since August 31 with a sprained left ankle, has been running and taking fielding drills, and is still sore but could be activated over the weekend. “It’s getting closer, it’s just not 100 percent ready,” Maddon said on a conference call. “Maybe this weekend, maybe tomorrow.”
- Ryan Buchter, who was designated for assignment last week and elected free agency after being outrighted, signed a minor league deal with the Yankees on Thursday. The left-hander had a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances with the Angels this season, with eight strikeouts, six walks, and two homers allowed in six innings.
Home runs: Jared Walsh (3), Mike Trout (16)
WP — Dylan Bundy (5-2): 7⅓ IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
LP — Kyle Gibson (1-5): 5⅔ IP, 10 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
The Angels move on to Coors Field, a test for any pitching staff, for a weekend series. Griffin Canning starts the series opener on Friday (5:40 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West), facing off against German Marquez.