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Angels home runs beat Padres again

Halos move to within three games of Houston

Los Angeles Angels v San Diego Padres Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Angels were supposed to face Mike Clevinger for a full start on Wednesday, but the Padres starter, who dealt with biceps tightness over the weekend, was lifted after one scoreless inning.

In the second, against Adrian Morejon, the Angels pounced, with home runs by Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, and Anthony Bemboom, earning a 5-2 win over the playoff-bound Padres on Wednesday.

For the Angels to be playoff bound in 2020, they still need help. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Halos trail the Astros by three games. Houston is currently playing in Seattle, then ends their season on the road with four games against the Rangers. The Angels travel to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, who already clinched the No. 1 seed in the National League.

For the Angels to make the playoffs, they need seven of these eight games to go their way. Anything less, and they’re eliminated.

Yes, it remains the longest of long shots, but if the Angels can get pitching like they did on Wednesday, the shot becomes a little less long.

After starter Jaime Barria was pulled after just two innings, having allowed a two-run home run to Eric Hosmer, the bullpen tossed seven scoreless frames.

Patrick Sandoval struck out five in three innings to earn the victory, his first major league win. Sandoval was followed by Matt Andriese for two innings. Everyday Mike Mayers pitched a scoreless inning, as did Felix Peña for the save. The quartet combined for nine strikeouts and only one walk.

Teheran to bullpen

Of the Angels’ final three games, none will be started by Julio Teheran, who was moved to the bullpen to finish the season, a casualty of Thursday’s off day and his own performance.

Teheran has allowed 32 runs on 37 hits, including 12 home runs, and 14 walks in 30⅓ innings this season, with 17 strikeouts. His 9.49 ERA and 8.68 FIP are both worst in the majors among pitchers with at least 30 innings. Of the 745 pitching seasons in Angels history of at least 30 innings, Teheran’s 48 ERA+ ranks 743rd.

Signed to a one-year, $9 million contract this winter, Teheran was expected to help provide some stability to an Angels starting rotation that had very little depth. But after the shutdown during spring training, COVID-19 delayed Teheran’s arrival at summer camp in July, and he was never able to fully recover.

“It’s too bad we had to go home after the original spring training. He was throwing the ball great,” manager Joe Maddon said before Wednesday’s game. “The layoff hurt him, and when he came back he was not ready to go. He was just in a constant state of playing catch-up.”

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: Shohei Ohtani (7), Justin Upton (8), Anthony Bemboom (3); Eric Hosmer (9)

WP — Patrick Sandoval (1-4): 3 IP, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts

LP — Adrian Morejon (2-2): 1 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Sv — Felix Peña (2): 1 IP, 1 hit

Up next

The Angels have only three games left, finishing up their regular season with a Freeway Series battle at Dodger Stadium. Andrew Heaney starts the series opener Friday night (6:40 p.m.; Fox Sports West, SportsNet LA), with Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Dodgers.