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Anthony Rendon injures knee in Angels loss to Rays

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Rendon fouled a ball off his left knee in the 8th inning

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The opener of Angels vs. Rays was supposed to be Shohei Ohtani against Tyler Glasnow. We got it, but not exactly as planned in the Angels’ 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday in the opener of a four-game series in Anaheim.

To add injury to insult, Anthony Rendon lined a ball off his left knee in the eighth inning, and immediately crumpled to the ground. After a few minutes, he was helped off the field.

Out of position players, Albert Pujols moved to third base in the top of the ninth inning, the first time he played the position since 2019, and the fourth time since the start of the 2012 season.

Changing roles

Ohtani was scratched from his start on the mound Monday after getting hit by a pitch on his elbow while batting on Sunday. He could pitch later in the week, Joe Maddon told reporters before Monday’s game.

A few minor delays for Ohtani have provided a perhaps welcome limit to his innings. Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register explains:

“The bigger concern is that he would get on this roll, and then by the middle of the year, you’re not gonna be really comfortable with where he’s at,” Maddon said, referring to Ohtani’s workload. “So all these little built-in bumps in the road, maybe are not a bad thing, permitting him to pitch more deeply into the year solidly without any concerns.”

But while Ohtani didn’t start on the mound Monday, he was in the lineup at designated hitter, and has played in all 27 Angels games this season. That provided a chance for Ohtani to give us one of the most bizarre doubles you’ll ever see.

Ohtani later added a two-run shot off Glasnow in the fifth, his ninth home run to grab a share of the major league lead.

With Ohtani scratched, José Quintana took the ball in the opener against the Rays, and allowed five runs and got chased in the fourth inning. Willy Adames took special advantage, hitting a double and home run against Quintana, scoring twice.

On the plus side, nine of Quintana’s 11 outs on Monday were via strikeout. But after the loss, the left-hander is up to a 10.59 ERA, with 20 earned runs (and 22 total runs) and 14 walks in 17 innings.

Roster move

Before Monday’s game, reliever Mike Mayers was placed on the injured list, though with no injury designation. Should Mayers be eligible to return inside of 10 days, it may mean that Patrick Sandoval, who was recalled to take his place on the active roster, might end up back on the Triple-A Salt Lake roster by the time the Bees’ season opens on Thursday.

If he doesn’t replace Quintana in the rotation, that is. The two scoreless innings and four strikeouts for Sandoval at the very least was everything that was asked of him.

Monday particulars

Home run: Shohei Ohtani (9), Anthony Rendon (3); Willy Adames (3), Manuel Margot (3)

WP — Tyler Glasnow (4-1): 6 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts

LP — José Quintana (0-3): 3⅔ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts