For the second straight game, Angels starting position players did the heavy lifting in a 4-4 tie (5 innings) against the White Sox from Tempe Diablo Stadium on Monday.
Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani got the Halos in the hit column with a sharp single to right field in the first inning. Mike Trout followed with a single of his own, and Albert Pujols knocked-in Ohtani with an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead.
The trio was in sync once again in the bottom of the third inning when Ohtani reached on another single, Trout followed with a walk, and once again Pujols drove in Ohtani with a single for his second RBI of the game to extend a 2-0 lead. The singles from Pujols weren’t the hardest hit balls, but they found outfield grass, and at the end of the day, a hit is a hit.
Both Trout and Pujols were subbed out for pinch runners Jordyn Adams and Matt Thaiss, and they were driven in on a two-out triple from shortstop Jose Iglesias.
Yes, it’s early, and it’s spring training, but you can’t help getting excited for the potential of the Angels offense. This isn’t even counting Anthony Rendon who missed the game with soreness.
Ohtani popped out with the bases loaded, so he finished 2-for-3. Still a nice day at the plate.
It’s a small sample size, but a few of the Angels starting position players are off to a great start through the first two games of spring training.
The Halos pitching staff has also looked good through two games.
Starting pitcher Alex Cobb got the Halos started with a scoreless first inning. The right-hander recorded a hit-batter, a walk, and a strikeout on 19 pitches. Cobb sat in the 91-93 mph range on his fastballs.
Ty Buttrey (1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and Aaron Slegers (1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) combined to throw two scoreless innings on the day as well.
The only Angels pitcher who ran into trouble was Luke Bard. The left-hander managed just one out and allowed four earned runs on four hits.
Halos non-roster invitee Jake Reed came into the fourth inning with one out and inherited White Sox runners on second and third. The right-hander limited the damage on a sacrifice fly to Adam Eaton and got Eloy Jimenez to ground out, ending the inning with the score tied 4-4.
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The Angels had a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the fourth with the bases loaded and nobody out. However, an Ohtani pop out, followed by back-to-back strikeouts from Adams and Thaiss, ended the inning.
They will get plenty of chances, but those situations for both Adams and Thaiss will go a long way in determining which level they will begin the regular season at.
Neither team scored in the fifth inning, resulting in the 4-4 tie.
Some other notable takeaways from the game were Dexter Fowler and Justin Upton. Both outfielders went hitless and struck out twice in each of their two at-bats. Once again, it’s early, but if these struggles continue in the next few weeks, a young player like Jo Adell could see his chances of making the Opening Day roster improve quickly.
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Up next for the Halos is a game under the lights Tuesday night against Cincinnati. First pitch between the Angels and Reds is scheduled for 7:05pm from Goodyear Ballpark.