Contact Form

    News Details

    Angels use three home runs to beat Diamondbacks, avoid sweep
    • July 3, 2023

    ANAHEIM ― The Angels avoided a series sweep the hard way.

    Facing the best pitcher on the best team in the National League West, on a day when they mustered only six hits, the Angels escaped their home confines with a 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to snap their four-game losing streak.

    Three hits made all the difference: a solo home run by Mike Trout in the first inning, a three-run shot by Mickey Moniak in the second, and the MLB-leading 31st home run by Shohei Ohtani in the eighth inning.

    Moniak’s ninth home run of the season traveled 406 feet. Ohtani’s traveled 454 feet before it bounced into the darkness of a tunnel in the right-field bleachers, delighting the announced crowd of 29,167 at Angel Stadium.

    “I took BP with Shohei one time and I looked like a 12-year-old hitting after him,” Moniak joked. “I think the biggest key as a left-handed hitter is to not try to do what he’s doing, just try to stay within myself. I think the results ― one, even if I do get one, I don’t think it’s going up there. And two, more often than not if I try to do that it’s not going to end up well.”

    Zac Gallen (10-3) struck out Moniak on a two-strike curveball to begin the first inning. When the All-Star pitcher threw the same pitch on a 2-and-2 count in the second inning, Moniak was ready.

    “Late spin has been something that’s a little bit of a bugaboo for him,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said of Moniak. “To see him get into a breaking ball there ― a big, big home run obviously.”

    The game served as a measure of progress for both Moniak, 25, and the Angels’ 23-year-old starter, Reid Detmers (2-5).

    Even though his “stuff wasn’t the best” by his own admission, Detmers made sure the early home runs by Trout and Moniak held up. He allowed three hits in six innings. Both of the runs he allowed came on a two-run homer by Carson Kelly in the second inning.

    Detmers walked two batters and struck out nine. He was credited with his first win since June 8 following a string of three consecutive no-decisions. Over his last five starts, Detmers has lowered his ERA from 5.15 to 3.72.

    The common thread in each of those games?

    “Just pound the zone,” Detmers said. “I feel like my fastball’s been in the zone more, and that helps a lot. Everything can play off the fastball. If I’m in the zone with the fastball, things tend not to be a little easier but I have more success.”

    Jose Soriano, Jacob Webb and Carlos Estevez each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Estevez recorded his 21st save of the season.

    The Angels finished their seven-game homestand with a 3-4 record to improve to 45-41 for the season. They’re six games behind the Texas Rangers (50-34) for first place in the American League West, and two games behind the Houston Astros and New York Yankees (46-38) for the final AL wild card berth.

    Trout took advantage of a fastball over the middle of the plate, just above the knees, for his 18th home run of the season in the first inning.

    After Kelly’s home run gave Arizona a 2-1 lead, Eduardo Escobar banged a long single off the wall in right field in the bottom of the second inning. David Fletcher lined a single into left-center field before Moniak’s three-run blast put the Angels in the lead for good at 4-2.

    Ohtani’s home run against left-handed reliever Kyle Nelson was the cherry on top. It marked the 30th time ever, and the eighth time this season, that Ohtani and Trout have hit home runs in the same game.

    While Trout and Ohtani will represent the Angels at the All-Star Game, their postseason hopes rest annually on how far the other 24 players on the roster will take them. This year, that includes a number of 25-and-younger players like Moniak and Detmers who are still developing at the major league level.

    “This is always a teaching moment for everybody when you come to the field,” Nevin said. “I don’t think development stops when you get to the major league level. That’s our job to keep making them better ― and their teammates, really, teaching them how to learn. We have some good guys around them who are doing that.”

    Related Articles

    Los Angeles Angels |

    Angels’ Shohei Ohtani named to All-Star Game pitching staff 

    Los Angeles Angels |

    Angels lose Brandon Drury to injured list, recall Andrew Velazquez

    Los Angeles Angels |

    Angels go quietly against Diamondbacks, lose fourth straight game

    Los Angeles Angels |

    Shohei Ohtani’s next start pushed back due to cracked fingernail

    Los Angeles Angels |

    Shohei Ohtani’s longest HR is Angels’ bright spot in loss to Diamondbacks

    ​ Orange County Register