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    Angels continue slide, getting swept by Padres
    • July 6, 2023

    SAN DIEGO — After the Angels, with an injury-ravaged lineup, lost to the Padres, 5-3, on Wednesday night, Manager Phil Nevin wasn’t about to refer to the injured list as an excuse for his team’s current free fall.

    “I’m not going to use the injuries (as an excuse),” he said. “We’ve just got to play better.”

    The Angels have now lost 11 of their past 15 games, getting swept by the Padres in a series that included injuries to Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon in the first two games. They are also without Brandon Drury, Zach Neto, Gio Urshela and Logan O’Hoppe.

    They are 44-43 with two games to go before the All-Star break, at Dodger Stadium on Friday and Saturday. If they are going to give themselves a shot to be in serious contention before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, they need to start winning again, despite the current state of their roster.

    “We come out with urgency every single day,” Nevin said. “Yes, we’ve had injuries, but we’ve got to right the ship with what we have right now. We’re gonna get some bodies back soon, but we have plenty of capable players and men in that room to win baseball games. Take tomorrow off, get a strong finish in L.A. and get a start to the second half.”

    Their latest loss was a combination of some of the problems they’ve had even when the lineup was intact, including a 2-for-9 performance with runners in scoring position. They also gave up a key unearned run, when starter Patrick Sandoval made a throwing error on a pickoff in the first inning.

    And each reliever who entered the game gave up a single run, but the one that Jacob Webb gave up when the game was tied in the seventh inning was most frustrating to Nevin, who ended up getting ejected.

    With one out, Fernando Tatis Jr. doubled. The Angels intentionally walked the left-handed hitting Juan Soto to get to right-handed hitting Manny Machado. Webb ended up walking Machado, with two of the pitches that were called balls appearing to catch the strike zone, including the 3-and-2 pitch.

    “It’s frustrating,” Webb said. “I’m out there grinding and trying to make pitches and get outs. It’s frustrating to watch that. I’ve got nothing else to say about that. It’s just irritating.”

    The call prompted enough barking from Nevin that umpire Jerry Layne ejected him, which got Nevin out of the dugout to get in Layne’s face.

    “It was a strike,” Nevin said. “The 3-2 pitch to Machado was a strike. There was a pitch earlier in the at-bat that was a strike. Blatant misses. I just don’t get that part of it, and big spots in the game.”

    Shortly after that, Xander Bogaerts hit a bouncer back to Webb, who fielded it on his way to touch first base as the go-ahead run scored.

    Right-hander Chris Devenski then allowed the Padres to score an insurance run in the eighth when he issued three walks, including one with the bases loaded.

    Sandoval was charged with two runs (one earned) in five innings. The first run scored after his errant pickoff throw and the second on a bloop single in the third. He was pulled after just 85 pitches.

    “Obviously, I don’t want to come out of the game that quick, but you know, I get it,” Sandoval said. “I haven’t been the best version of myself for this past month. I got a lot of work to earn the trust back.”

    Nevin said it was the third time through the order and he had a whole bullpen of fresh relievers, with an off day upcoming.

    “I wanted fresh arms toward the middle and end of the game,” Nevin said. “It just didn’t work out for us.”

    The offense didn’t give the Angels enough room for any of the mistakes the pitchers made. One of the three runs scored because of an error by Tatis, the right fielder. Another came on a lucky bounce, when Jo Adell’s grounder hit third base and bounced away from Machado. Matt Thaiss generated the other run with a game-tying homer in the seventh, but it didn’t stay tied for long.

    And soon the Angels were packing up for a bus ride back home with another loss.

    “We’re just grinding through this tough time,” Sandoval said. “Bunch of injuries obviously. Next man up, but it’s tough.”

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    ​ Orange County Register