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    Angels lose ugly game to Diamondbacks
    • June 12, 2024

    PHOENIX — The Angels’ game was pretty ugly already, and then in sixth inning there was one of those moments when it became really difficult to watch.

    Catcher Logan O’Hoppe had to leave the game after a foul ball hit him squarely in the cup. O’Hoppe writhed in pain on the field, and a few minutes later gingerly walked to the dugout.

    After the Angels’ 9-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night was over, O’Hoppe stood at his locker and was able to smile, thankful that the cup had done its job.

    He said it was “by far” the worst he had ever been hit in that area in all his years of catching.

    “Better now,” O’Hoppe said. “I’m still in some pain. I was dizzy after I got hit. And that was why I left. That was tough.”

    Beyond that disturbing moment, it was a rather nondescript performance for the Angels.

    They hoped for the best with left-hander José Suarez making a spot start, and it didn’t go well. Suarez gave up four runs in 2⅔ innings.

    Suarez was filling the rotation spot vacated when left-hander Reid Detmers was sent to Triple-A.

    Suarez had been a reliable starter in 2021 and 2022, but he’d struggled with injury and ineffectiveness for most of the time since. His previous seven relief outings, in which he’d posted a 2.87 ERA, were somewhat encouraging, though.

    The Angels had planned for Suarez to throw around 75 pitches, but he was done after 65. One of the main problems was that Suarez threw a first-pitch strike to just five of the 14 hitters he faced.

    “We were just in some counts we had to work out of,” O’Hoppe said. “It wasn’t lack of effort. He was trying to make his pitches. It just didn’t go our way. It was a frustrating night.”

    Suarez gave up a pair of triples to Randal Grichuk and Corbin Carroll in the second, and a two-run homer to Grichuk in the third.

    “I just made bad pitches,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “I left my pitches over the middle and that was it.”

    Right-hander Carson Fulmer took over after Suarez and was charged with two more runs in 2⅔ innings.

    Right-hander Ben Joyce entered in the sixth and had a shaky outing. The reliever who throws 103 mph has struggled with his command and control in his brief experiences in the major leagues.

    Although Joyce struck out Joc Pederson on three pitches – all at 102 mph or harder – that was his only highlight. Joyce gave up three hits, including two infield hits, and he walked a batter. He was charged with three runs, two of which scored after he was out of the game. Joyce has allowed five runs and eight hits in two innings in his first three games.

    “When you are throwing 100 mph to the outside of the plate and they punch it into right field, we’ve got to look at that and see what we’ve got to do,” Manager Ron Washington said.

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    The Angels pitched poorly on a night when most of the offensive attack came from Taylor Ward, who had a nice night before leaving in the eighth inning with tightness in his lower back. Ward said he came out as a precaution, and he hoped to play on Wednesday.

    Ward drove in a run with a double in the third and he hit a solo homer, his 12th of the season. His homer pulled the Angels within 5-3 in the sixth inning.

    Ward, who also drew a walk, snapped out of a 2-for-29 slump with his big night.

    The Angels could use an extended hot streak from Ward to pump up his trade value leading up to next month’s deadline.

    If he’s hitting well, Ward could be one of the Angels’ most attractive trade pieces, because he’s under control for two seasons beyond this one.

    ​ Orange County Register