news 5 days ago

Pirates top Angels, 10-7

Los Angeles Times — By Maria Torres Los Angeles Times

Aug. 14-- ANAHEIM, Calif.-A once-comfortable lead slipped away from the Angels, first subtly. Then it burned to ashes Tuesday night, with reliever Taylor Cole giving up four runs while securing only two outs in the fifth inning en route to a 10-7 loss to Pittsburgh Pirates at Angel Stadium.

"Get it together, Angels!" a fan situated somewhere behind home plate bellowed mere moments before Kole Calhoun ripped a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth.

Get it together, the Angels did not.

Calhoun tried to heed the plea, advancing to third and tagging up on a fly ball. But he was thrown out by center fielder Starling Marte on a bang-bang play at the plate. The double play ended the Angels' fifth-inning threat and kept them down 7-5.

Justin Upton lined a single to drive in two runs in the ninth, but the Angels could not bridge the gap between themselves and a team that had also only won twice in its previous 10 games. They continued to bleed run instead.

Reliever Jake Jewell, recalled from Salt Lake before the game, hit a batter and watched him score on a double in the seventh. Bryan Reynolds, who entered the game with a .333 average that tied for second best in the major leagues, blasted a solo home run to straightaway center field to give the Pirates a 10-5 lead.

Before Jewell put the game out of reach, Cole (2-4) let a 5-3 lead slip away in the fifth. He jogged in from the bullpen and promptly surrendered a single to Marte and a home run to Josh Bell. The two-run shot erased rookie starter Griffin Canning from the game's decision.

Canning did not seem to suffer from discomfort in his right elbow, which became sore enough following his start July 30 that he landed on the injured list. He had no trouble reaching for the velocity on his 94 mph fastball. He generated six swings-and-misses and received seven called strikes on his biting slider.

But Canning allowed hard enough contact to put himself in danger. He lasted only four innings and 80 pitches and gave up six hits.

The Angels held a 4-0 advantage after two innings. David Fletcher, who entered the game with only five hits in August, picked up four hits and a walk the day after he received a game off. His leadoff double in the first sparked a three-run inning.

The cushion disappeared as wackiness unfolded in the third inning.

With two runners on, Bell blooped a ball to left field. Upton slid to catch the ball but booted it. He recovered and threw to third base. No one was there, leaving Canning to back up the play. Canning tried to throw Bell out at second base, but the ball skipped into right field. Two runs had scored by the time Calhoun got the ball back to the infield. Canning was charged an error for the events.

The Pirates added their third run when Colin Moran smoked a double. Canning retired the next two and faced four batters in the fourth to maintain the Angels' lead-which grew to 5-3 on Luis Rengifo's RBI single in the bottom of the third.

But the bullpen couldn't keep the lead.

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Suarez staying put

A rotation shakeup is not in order for the scuffling Angels. Despite watching rookie starter Jose Suarez give up six runs (four earned) over three tenuous innings in Monday's 10-2 loss to the Pirates, Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Suarez will remain in the major leagues for the "foreseeable future."

Suarez, who has given up 14 earned runs in 121/3 innings spanning his last three starts, will take his next turn Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. The decision to keep Suarez had a lot to do with working around the team's scant pitching depth.

Over the last month, injuries forced the Angels to give spots in the rotation to offseason acquisition Dillon Peters and rookie Patrick Sandoval, who didn't even pitch for the Angels in spring training.Those moves left the team with just two starters on the 40-man roster who have pitched in the major leagues. Jaime Barria was optioned back to triple A on Saturday, and he is not eligible to rejoin the Angels until he has spent 10 days in the minor leagues. Veteran Nick Tropeano, the other option, made triple-A starts July31 and Aug.5 in which he allowed one and no runs, respectively. But he gave up six hits and three runs when he pitched four innings for Salt Lake on Saturday.

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Short hops

The Angels activated Canning for his start Tuesday and optioned reliever Jose Rodriguez back to triple A. The Angels also placed Adalberto Mejia on the restricted list for "a personal matter." Jewell was recalled from Salt Lake to reinforce the bullpen. ... The Angels will make a decision on Noe Ramirez's reinstatement from the injured list by Thursday's game. They will be forced to play with a roster of 24 while Ramirez, who landed on the injured list in late July because of a viral infection, serves the three-game suspension given to him for hitting Houston's Jake Marisnick.

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