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Clutch Hitting Pays Dividends As Angels Defeat “Evil Empire” Again

Angels Win Season Series Against Yankees For The First Time Since 2017

MLB: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the second night in a row, a large and ruckus crowd of Angels and Yankees fans filled Angel Stadium for a west versus east showdown. Less than 24 hours prior, the Halos pulled off the ultimate upset by extending the Yankees losing streak to three games with an 8-7 come from behind victory. In tonight’s game, flashes of power and timely pitching were keys to success in the Angels emerging victorious over the Yankees by the final score of 6-4.

The first third of the game flew by fast as Angels’ starter Jaime Barria worked out of early trouble by inducing two double plays, while Yankees’ starter Jameson Taillon held the Angels hitless with five strikeouts through the first cycle of the batting order.

Newly acquired first baseman Anthony Rizzo broke the scoring open in the fourth for the pinstripes on a fly ball that was misjudged by Juan Lagares in right field at the base of the wall and ricocheted back into play. Upon umpire review, the call was reversed and Rizzo’s 18th home run of the season gave the “Bronx Bombers” a 1-0 lead.

Last night, the bottom of the fourth was a coming out party for the Angels offense and tonight continued that trend. Following a leadoff single by David Fletcher and a walk to Shohei Ohtani, the hot-hitting Jared Walsh seized up an 81 MPH curveball, hooking it down the right field foul pole into the seats for his 25th dinger of the year and giving the Halos the 3-1 advantage.

The “Evil Empire” cut the deficit to 3-2 the very next half inning as catcher Gary Sanchez took Barria deep to left field for his 18th homer of the season. After walking Gardner (the next batter), Barria got the hook from manager Joe Maddon, surviving 4.1 innings and limiting the red-hot Yankee bats to just two runs on five hits.

In a crucial spot in the home half of the fifth, the Yankees elected to intentionally walk Ohtani with two outs to load the bases and take their chances with Phil Gosselin. What the Yankees didn’t know is you never want to let the “Goose” get loose. Taillon found that out the hard way as Gosselin smacked a two-run single into left field, adding to the lead 5-2.

Three pitches into the next at-bat, Ohtani gave fans an opportunity to see something he hadn’t accomplished before in his Angels’ career since he was not able to pull double duty of hitting and pitching tonight. Just games after the two-way phenom secured a 40 Home Run/20 Stolen Base season, Ohtani’s speed and sneaky hand placement under the tag of Sanchez at home on a double-steal attempt proved successful, tacking another run to the ledger for a 6-2 Angels lead.

Newcomer to the bullpen Jimmy Herget, who the Halos selected off waivers from the Texas Rangers on August 16, dynamically showed his worth by shutting down the meat of the Yankees lineup. His 1.2 innings of relief were highlighted by a 4-6-3 double-play off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton and a big swing and miss strike out of slugger Joey Gallo.

Unfortunately the bullpen took a slight hit in the eighth inning as right-hander Elvis Peguero could not record an out and left inherited runners (a very common trait for Angels pitchers to accomplish this season) for fellow righty Junior Guerra. Salivating at the opportunity, the beasts of the “Bronx Bombers” lineup (Judge and Stanton) connected on back-to-back scoring chances with an RBI Single and Sac-Fly to tighten the score 6-4. Maddon leaned on the bullpen once more in the same inning, this time the call went to Jake Petricka. Petricka, who spent all of 2021 prior to June 2 in the Atlantic League (Independent), wasted no time by closing out the inning with consecutive swinging strikeouts of Gio Urshela and pinch hitter Luke Voit.

With six runs and six hits satisfying the Angels offense, it was time for Raisel Iglesias to get down to business in a save situation. Maddon mentioned to the media that for the remainder of the year, [Raisel] Iglesias would be limited to just one inning per/appearance. This decision played right into the impending free agent’s hand (#ExtendRaisel) as he shut the door on any potential pinstripe rally courtesy of consecutive strikeouts to Sanchez and Brett Gardner. The 27th out, which can be the hardest to get sometimes, became a beautiful “Goose” moment of flashing the leather at third base. Only two ground balls came his way during the entire game, with the first being charged as an error, but the second attempt sealed the victory.

With three consecutive wins in their back pocket, the Halos will search to bring out the brooms on the Yankees with a 4:05 p.m. first pitch tomorrow afternoon. The Angels will send rookie LHP Packy Naughton (0-0, 1.69 ERA) to the hill for his first career start (third total appearance) in the majors. It will be a tall task to take on as his counterpart will be RHP Gerrit Cole (13-6, 2.80 ERA).

Angels News & Notes

  • RHP Jimmy Herget selected to Angels roster, INF Kean Wong optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake
  • 5 Double plays turned by Angels defense tonight was the most in a game since April 25, 2013 versus Seattle Mariners
  • First series win for the Angels against a team with a winning record since July 5-7 versus Boston Red Sox