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Patrick Sandoval delivers another commanding performance in Angels' victory

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES — Patrick Sandoval wasn’t quite as dominant Sunday as he was last July 24 in Minnesota, when the Angels left-hander came within two outs of a no-hitter and struck out a career-high 13.

He was in command throughout a superb 7 1/3-inning start, giving up one run and four hits, striking out seven and walking one in a 4-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics before 40,042 at Angel Stadium.

Mike Trout reached base in four of five plate appearances with a double, an RBI single, a walk and a home run, and Shohei Ohtani hit a home run and a single to pace the Angels’ offense.

Sandoval needed only 82 pitches to complete seven scoreless innings in which he gave up two singles and did not allow a runner to reach second base, and he seemed poised to throw his first complete game or shutout.

Then in the eighth inning, Tyler Wade, a middle infielder who started in right field in place of the injured Taylor Ward, lost Kevin Smith’s fly ball to medium right in the sun, the ball dropping for a leadoff double.

Smith took third on Elvis Andrus’ grounder to first and scored on Cristian Pache’s soft single to center to cut the Angels’ lead to 4-1. Luis Barrera walked to put two on and bring the tying run to the plate.

 

Angels manager Joe Maddon pulled Sandoval in favor of right-hander Ryan Tepera, who struck out Sheldon Neuse with a 92-mph sinker and pinch-hitter Seth Brown with a 93-mph sinker to preserve the three-run lead. Closer Raisel Iglesias struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save.

Sandoval retired 10 consecutive batters to open the game, two by strikeout, before Chad Pinder reached on second baseman Luis Rengifo’s fielding error with one out in the fourth. The pitcher responded by striking out Jed Lowrie with an 83-mph changeup and Sean Murphy with an 86-mph slider.

Sandoval whiffed Christian Bethancourt with an 83-mph changeup to open the fifth, but Smith broke up the no-hit bid when he lined an 85-mph changeup that was just off the outside corner to center for a single. Rengifo then fielded Andrus’ sharp grounder to start an inning-ending double play.

Sandoval retired the side in order in the sixth and the first two batters in the seventh before Murphy lined a single to right.

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