The Los Angeles Angels activated third baseman Anthony Rendon off the injured list on Friday, allowing their offense to look more like themselves again.
That hasn’t been the case more often that not in the early going, with Rendon missing a total of 20 games on his two injured list stints, first with a strained left groin and the latest malady after fouling a ball off his left knee.
The results weren’t immediate, as the Angels managed only three runs in a 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, thanks to a pair of two-run home runs by Boston. But at the very least, some effects of having Rendon in the lineup were evident.
Friday was the 15th game this season with Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, and Mike Trout all in the lineup together. The Angels are 8-7 in those games, averaging 4.87 runs per game. In all other games, the Halos are 8-14, averaging 4.27 runs.
Rendon batted cleanup on Friday night with Ohtani second and Trout third, the same spots for that trio in 14 of their 15 games together (Rendon batted fifth in their other game together). The third baseman singled and scored in the seventh, and Ohtani homered and doubled.
The Halos grabbed a lead in the seventh on a two-run single by shortstop Jose Iglesias, back in the No. 7 spot in the lineup that has been his most frequent starting spot this season. But during Rendon’s latest IL stint, Iglesias batted fifth, sixth, and even second. Now in the lower third of the order, the Angels lineup looks even deeper. Though it ultimately didn’t pan out on Friday, it should pay dividends going forward.
Fenway Park is the 32nd major league ballpark Rendon has played in in his career, and as noted by Angels communications manager Matt Birch, was the only current active park he had yet to play before the series opener against the Red Sox.
On the mound
Griffin Canning allowed the first two-run homer of the night for the Red Sox, a Hunter Renfroe shot in the second. But that was it against Canning in his six innings, continuing his stellar May.
Canning struck out seven in the series opener, and owns a 28.3-percent K rate in three starts this month, allowing only four total runs in 17 innings. In April, the right-hander had a 8.40 ERA and a 25.8-percent strikeout rate.
The seventh-inning rally by the Angels put Canning in a position to earn a win for his third straight start, but that was quickly undone in the bottom of the inning, when Bobby Dalbec crushed a ball over the Green Monster off lefty Tony Watson, giving Boston the winning blow.
The Angels try to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday (1:10 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West), with Dylan Bundy on the mound against Red Sox left-hander Martín Pérez.