Angels Rout Diamondbacks

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Angels 10, Diamondbacks 3

PHOENIX, June 13 — Arizona Diamondbacks starter Jon Duplantier only managed to record four outs. That was a sign of things to come, as the Los Angeles Angels lit him up for six runs on six hits en route to a 10–3 shellacking of the Diamondbacks Sunday afternoon. Left fielder Justin Upton, first baseman Jared Walsh, right fielder Taylor Ward, and second baseman David Fletcher all had multi-hit games for the Angels, with Upton going 3-for-5. Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval shut down the Diamondbacks, scattering four hits and two walks over 6+ innings, allowing two earned runs in the process.

Angels Pounce on Diamondbacks Early

Red flags went up when the first two pitches of the game were hit hard — a single by left fielder Justin Upton and a foul liner into the stands near the right-field pole. The batter who hit the latter — first baseman Jared Walsh — ultimately grounded to second. However, the next batter — catcher Max Stassi — belted a home run to give the Angels a quick 2–0 lead.

The lead became 6–0 in the second when the Angels batted around. Right fielder Taylor Ward began the onslaught with a single. Two batters later, he advanced to second on pitcher Patrick Sandoval’s first career hit. He fooled the defense by showing bunt and then poking the ball over the heads of the charging infielders. Second baseman David Fletcher followed with a bunt up the first-base line on a safety squeeze. Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker, charging hard, flipped the ball home too late to retire the sliding Ward, and everyone was safe. Sandoval and Fletcher scored when Upton, up next, singled to center and advanced to second on a fielding error by Ketel Marte. A follow-up double by Walsh scored Upton for the Angels’ sixth run. When Duplantier hit Stassi with his next pitch, that ended his day.

Scoring Slows Down

Riley Smith stopped the bleeding, retiring the next two hitters and going on to pitch three scoreless innings of long relief. Meanwhile, Sandoval pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only one baserunner in the process. In the fourth, the Diamondbacks got a runner into scoring position after a pair of singles. This brought up Pavin Smith, whose single scored Walker from second and made the score 6–1.

Smith’s scoreless streak stopped in the sixth, when three of the first four Angels hitters cracked doubles. They only managed two runs out of it, but it still extended their lead to 8–1. Sandoval, meanwhile, continued to cruise, lasting into the seventh before leaving after walking the first two batters. One of those came around to score on a single by pinch-hitter David Peralta.

The Angels made it a 10–2 ballgame in the top of the eighth against reliever Kevin Ginkel. A single by David Fletcher and a Ruthian home run over the pool by Walsh created the two runs. The Diamondbacks scored a consolation run in the bottom of the ninth on a pinch-hit single by Ildemaro Vargas and RBI single by catcher Carson Kelly, finalizing the score.

Postgame Reflections

Climbing out of such an abysmal stretch is as difficult a challenge as any team will face. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after the game that it is the biggest he’s faced in his managerial career. His message to the team is, “We can’t get ‘em all back in one day,” referring to the lopsided record. “Let’s play .500 baseball for the next six baseball games, and let’s build off of that. The next goal will be to play .500 baseball for the next 10 games, (then) the next month, and see where that takes us. We can’t worry about making it all up at one time. I think we have to take a step back and…play at a certain level, a certain way from this point forward.”

Looking Ahead

The Angels (33–32) have now won six straight and 11 of their past 14. They head to Oakland for a three-game series with the division-leading Athletics. The Diamondbacks (20–46) — who have lost 10 straight and 33 of their past 38 — head to San Francisco for a four-gamer with the San Francisco Giants. Both the Angels and Diamondbacks will begin their respective Bay Area intradivisional series Monday.

Main Photo:
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Players/managers mentioned:
Jon Duplantier, Justin Upton, Jared Walsh, Taylor Ward, David Fletcher, Patrick Sandoval, Max Stassi, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte, Riley Smith, Pavin Smith, David PeraltaKevin Ginkel, Ildemaro Vargas, Carson Kelly, Torey Lovullo