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    Taylor Ward injury adds a frightening moment to Angels’ loss
    • July 30, 2023

    TORONTO —A couple hours after the Angels saw Taylor Ward on the ground with blood dripping from his face, their thoughts were still with their teammate.

    Ward was hit in the face by a pitch, requiring attention from multiple trainers and a trip to the hospital, casting a pall over what became the Angels’ 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

    “Anytime anybody gets hit, especially in the face, the first thing you think about is his health and that he’s OK,” Angels first baseman Mike Moustakas said. “Obviously it didn’t really look very good. Hopefully, we get some good news here in a little bit. We’re all praying for him.”

    The Angels had no immediate word on the results of tests Ward was undergoing.

    It was yet another blow to a team that has dealt with one injury after another all season. The Angels are already without injured outfielders Mike Trout and Jo Adell, infielders Brandon Drury, Zach Neto, Anthony Rendon and Gio Urshela and catchers Logan O’Hoppe and Max Stassi.

    Simply losing Ward’s bat from the middle of the lineup hurt them in a practical sense, but losing him in the way they did could not have helped from an emotional standpoint.

    Moustakas, who was in the on-deck circle when Ward was hit in the fifth inning, conceded that it’s difficult to remain at the same level mentally after seeing something like that.

    “It’s hard, man,” Moustakas said. “Anytime you see anybody get hit, especially like that, it’s hard, but it’s something we had to do. Obviously we didn’t come back and win like we would have hoped. But right now the game’s over. All we can think about is if ‘Wardo’ is gonna be OK or not. That’s where all of our heads are at. All we’re doing is thinking about him and sending him love and positive vibes and hoping everything’s gonna be OK.”

    Ironically, the moment that Ward got hit was the most productive moment of the game for the Angels’ offense.

    The bases were loaded when Ward was hit, pushing home the first run of the game. There was still only one out, so the Angels had a chance to break the game open. Moustakas then struck out and Matt Thaiss hit a popout.

    Reid Detmers then took the mound and gave up a two-run homer to Santiago Espinal. Detmers got one more out and then he was pulled after 91 pitches.

    The Angels had a shot to get those runs right back in the sixth, but they left the bases loaded. They also left them loaded in the second inning.

    The Angels were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, after going 0 for 7 on Friday night.

    “We just didn’t get that big hit,” said Angels manager Phil Nevin, who watched the game upstairs because he was serving a one-game suspension for his actions toward the umpires after the game Friday. “I think the approach is good. The at-bats are good. We’ve swung the bats so well since the break really. You’re bound to have some down days. I think that’s just what’s what happened. They scored more than we did.”

    The offensive outage came just as the Angels arrived in Toronto for a showdown series against one of the teams ahead of them in the wild-card race. The Angels scored two runs in the first two games, losing both and dropping five games behind Toronto. The Houston Astros are 4½ games ahead of the Angels, pending the outcome of their game Saturday.

    The Angels will try to avoid the sweep Sunday, almost certainly without Ward in the middle of the lineup.

    “We’re a resilient bunch,” Moustakas said. “Minus what happened to ‘Wardo’ today, you never want that to happen to anybody in any sport. It’s just something very unfortunate. But we’re gonna close the book on today. Keep thinking about ‘Wardo’ and sending him love, and come back tomorrow and try to win a game.”

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    ​ Orange County Register