Jo Adell’s 2021 Major League debut provided the spark plug on offense the Angels desperately needed in a 11-3 win over the Texas Rangers Tuesday night.
Batting sixth and playing right field, the 22-year-old went 3-4 with two doubles, a walk, a single, three RBIs and a stolen base. A year and one day removed from his MLB debut, Adell started out his new Major League campaign on a much higher note. The first pick of the Angels’ 2017 draft (10th overall), Adell had a disappointing 2020 rookie season, hitting .161/.212/.266 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs in 38 games. He looked uncomfortable at the plate, struck out at a high clip, and displayed subpar defense in the outfield. Tonight, however, he lived up to the hype.
Angels skipper Joe Maddon noticed a difference in Adell’s plate approach, commending his command of the strike zone. “I really like the baserunning and the command of the strike zone. Those are the two things that are going to make him a really good Major League player, understanding the nuance of the game,” said Maddon when asked how Adell could continue his offensive success after the game.
Angels starter José Suarez was also very good in 5.2 innings with 88 pitches, six strikeouts and three earned runs allowed for the win. After striking out the side in the first inning, Suarez got the first two outs of the second before giving up a checked-swing base hit and a following bloop RBI single to center off the bat of DH Curtis Terry. He would later give up a two-run home run to second baseman Andy Ibáñez in the sixth inning, but otherwise looked sharp with a heavy reliance on his fastball in the outing. The bullpen duo of Junior Guerra and Sam Selman pitched shutout, no-hit baseball the rest of way.
The Angels more than doubled their run total from the last five games (five runs in that five-game span) in the win. First baseman Phil Gosselin was huge with three RBIs and tied the game in the third inning with a legged-out infield hit that scored David Fletcher from third. After walking in his first plate appearance, Adell hit a sharp two-out double to left field that scored Justin Upton and Gosselin that put the Halos in the lead for good.
Gosselin would single home Shohei Ohtani in the fifth and third baseman Jack Mayfield extended the lead to 6-1 in the sixth with his fifth home run of the season. The Ibáñez home run shrunk the lead to 6-3, but the Angels fired back in the seventh with four runs produced by singles from Gosselin and Adell as well as an RBI groundout by Jose Iglesias that scored two via an error by Rangers shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The Angels would tack on one more run in the ninth on an Iglesias sac-fly to make it 11-3. Selman finished the last two innings of the game on the mound.
Adell missed Monday’s game due to flight complications, but he made the most of his opportunity on Tuesday against the Rangers in Arlington. Playing for the first time in the Majors with his friend and fellow Angels top prospect outfielder Brandon Marsh, Adell said, “It’s awesome. It adds to a lot of comfort out there on the field.” Halos brass and fans everywhere hope that comfort continues to shine through not just this season, but for years to come.
With the win, the Angels move to 53-54 on the year. Shohei Ohtani (5-1, 3.04 ERA) will get the start against Anaheim-native Kolby Allard (2-9, 5.23 ERA) in Game 3 of the four-game series tomorrow at 5:05 p.m. PST.
- All Angels hitters reached base in the game
- Max Stassi extended his hitting streak to eight games
- The Angels stole three bases tonight (one by Adell, two by Fletcher)
- Tonight’s game was the first time scoring 10+ runs since the comeback in the Bronx on 6/30 and the sixth time this season
- Mike Trout’s return from injury timeline was once again pushed back today. He has been on the IL since May 18