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    Bullpen meltdown allows game to get away in Angels’ loss to Yankees
    • May 31, 2024

    ANAHEIM — Just when Patrick Sandoval gave the Angels hope that they might be able to pull off a series victory against the New York Yankees, his teammates came up short.

    The Angels managed just one hit while Sandoval was in the game and reliever Adam Cimber gave up five runs in the seventh, sending the Angels to an 8-3 loss to the Yankees in the rubber game of the series on Thursday night.

    It was a 2-1 game after Sandoval threw his final pitch in the sixth inning, ending one of his best outings in a disappointing season.

    Cimber then entered in the seventh. He has been a reliable reliever all season, with the notable exception of three blowup outings.

    This time he walked four of the six batters he faced, including two with the bases loaded. He left with the bases loaded. Lefty Jose Suarez allowed Juan Soto to unload them on his first pitch, when Soto pulled a bouncer down the right field line for a three-run triple.

    At that point, the Angels were down 7-1, and the only hit they had managed was a Logan O’Hoppe homer.

    Although they strung together a rally to score two runs in the seventh, it was too late to make a difference. The relatively paltry offensive performance against left-hander Carlos Rodon was disappointing because the Angels came into the game with the fourth-best OPS in the majors against lefties.

    The late arriving offense and Cimber’s loss of control cost Sandoval, who continued the Angels’ recent stretch of solid starting pitching. Angels starters gave up six runs in 16 innings in three games against the Yankees.

    The only blemish in Sandoval’s performance was a two-run homer from Aaron Judge, who tied for the major league lead with his 18th.

    Sandoval has struggled for much of the season, but he’s now allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts.

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    One of the changes he’s tried lately is adding a sweeper to his repertoire. He threw it only 15 times in his first 10 starts, but he threw 12 of them last week against the Cleveland Guardians and 21 against the Yankees.

    Sandoval got Judge looking at a sweeper for strike three in the first inning. Judge looked at another one for the first strike of his at-bat in the fourth inning.

    Apparently, Sandoval tried the pitch one too many times to Judge, though. He threw it again on a 2-and-1 count in the fourth, and this one hung right at Judge’s thighs, on its way over the fence.

    Sandoval bounced back to get nine more outs without another run scoring. He left the mound with an emphatic scream after the third out of the sixth inning.

    More to come on this story.

    ​ Orange County Register