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Angels eliminated in playoff chase with slugfest loss to Dodgers

Angels hit 3 homers, but allow 5 in loss in LA

MLB: Los Angeles Angels At Los Angeles Dodgers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels’ chances at the postseason dwindled to zero on Friday night, losing a slugfest to the Dodgers, 9-5 at Dodger Stadium.

Home runs were the name of the game in this one, and the Angels got three, from the usual suspects. Mike Trout worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Clayton Kershaw before taking him deep for a three-run shot in the third inning, his 17th of the season. Justin Upton homered in the fourth inning and Jared Walsh did the same in the fifth inning, the ninth home run of the season for both.

The Angels led 3-1, 4-2, and 5-3 in this one, but fell behind in the fifth, when Justin Turner hit his second home run of the game, then Will Smith followed with a two-run shot off Matt Andriese. The Dodgers hit five home runs on the night, three of them off starter Andrew Heaney in four-plus innings.

Home runs were flying out so readily on Friday that not even Mike Mayers was spared. He allowed a two-run shot to Edwin Ríos in the eighth inning, snapping a string of 19 consecutive scoreless frames for Mayers. He last allowed a run on August 24.

With the loss, the Angels remain three games behind the Astros, but with two to play. So there won’t be a postseason for the Angels, for a sixth straight year.

A little help

During the fourth inning of the Angels’ game in Los Angeles, the Astros were one strike away from clinching a playoff spot as the second-place team in the American League West, which would have eliminated the Angels. But instead, Ronald Guzman hit a game-tying home run to keep the Rangers, and the Angels, alive.

Houston tallied a run in the top of the 10th, but the Rangers rallied for two to win it. The Astros’ loss bought the Angels some time, but as it turned out, it was only a few extra hours.

With the loss, the Angels are 14-7 in their last 21 games.

“We gave it a nice run, and Texas really helped us out a lot tonight,” manager Joe Maddon said after the game. “We had a nice thing going on. We grabbed a lead here, but just couldn’t hold on to it.”

A long time coming

When Luis Rengifo had to exit with a left hamstring strain after hitting a single in the seventh inning, the Angels called on Elliot Soto to pinch run at first base. It was the big league debut for Soto, a little more than a month after his 31st birthday.

Soto, who was added to the roster on Tuesday when Andrelton Simmons opted out of the season, played 10 seasons and 867 games in the minor leagues, seeing time at shortstop, second base, and third base.

After pinch running, Soto played the final two innings defensively at second base.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Mike Trout (17), Justin Upton (9), Jared Walsh (9); Justin Turner 2 (4), A.J. Pollock (14), Will Smith (7), Edwin Ríos (7)

WP — Brusdar Graterol (1-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run

LP — Matt Andriese (2-4): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout

Up next

Dylan Bundy makes his final start of a stellar 2020 season on Saturday night (6:10 p.m.; Fox Sports West, SportsNet LA), facing off against Tony Gonsolin for Los Angeles.