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OC Register: Angels conclude dreary homestand with 4-2 loss to San Francisco Giants


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  • San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto celebrates after the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto celebrates after the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford forces Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, out at second after Luis Valbuena hit into a double play during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford forces Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, out at second after Luis Valbuena hit into a double play during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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  • San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt celebrates in the dugout after his home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, tips his cap after hitting a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, tips his cap after hitting a single against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria celebrates his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria celebrates his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria watches his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria watches his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, right, lets go of his bat during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, right, lets go of his bat during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt, right, reacts after hitting a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt, right, reacts after hitting a foul ball during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels third baseman Luis Valbuena reacts after San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt flew out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels third baseman Luis Valbuena reacts after San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt flew out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria wipes his face during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jaime Barria wipes his face during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, April 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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ANAHEIM – The Angels began the week with a 13-3 record and a swagger that transcended their superstar players. That feels like more than seven days ago.

Ever since they got home from a freeze-out in Kansas City, something changed. The Angels’ offense hit the skids. Shohei Ohtani pitched a total of two unimpressive innings. Sunday, San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto showed no interest in giving up a hit, never mind any ideas about stealing his swagger.

By the time Ian Kinsler’s single broke up Cueto’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning, the damage had been done. Mike Trout’s ninth home run of the season couldn’t prevent a 4-2 loss to the Giants before an announced crowd of 44,544.

Now the Angels face a daunting task: regaining their mojo against the Houston Astros, a team that’s won six in a row.

First place in the American League West is at stake, with the second-place Angels down a game and a half in the standings. More than that, it’s a chance for the Angels to prove to the defending World Series champions – if not themselves – that their 13-3 start was less of a fluke than the 1-5 homestand that followed.

The only thing that could stop Cueto on Sunday was his own health. The veteran right-hander missed one start earlier this month with a sprained left ankle. In the third inning Sunday he briefly visited with a trainer, adjusted the dirt beneath his landing foot on the mound, then threw a couple practice pitches. He even hit the next batter he faced, Martin Maldonado.

Cueto also hit Andrelton Simmons on the right forearm with a 95-mph fastball in the second inning. Simmons had to leave the game but was diagnosed with a contusion, the closest thing to a lucky break the Angels would get.

Cueto shook off those missteps to pitch six innings, allowing two singles, two walks and striking out seven. After the Giants scored three runs in the third inning, Cueto never trailed.

Jamie Barria’s second major league start was one of the strangest a pitcher could endure. The 21-year-old right-hander was removed in the third inning despite not allowing a run to that point in the game. He threw 77 pitches, including 21 in a first inning at-bat against Brandon Belt that was the longest in major league history.

Barria threw 49 pitches in the first inning as the Giants loaded the bases on three singles but did not score. He threw another 13 pitches in the second inning. By the time Barria walked Andrew McCutchen to load the bases in the third inning, reliever Noe Ramirez was warm in the bullpen and Manager Mike Scioscia had seen enough.

According to baseballreference.com, it was the first time a starting pitcher was removed from a game after throwing 77 or more pitches, recording six outs, and not allowing a run.

The Giants got on the board when Ramirez induced a double-play groundout from Buster Posey, driving in Joe Panik from third base. The next batter, Evan Longoria, pounced on a hanging curveball from Ramirez and drove it 402 feet to left-center field. The two-run home run gave the Giants a 3-0 lead.

Barria was ultimately charged with two runs. Ramirez was charged with one run in 1 1/3 innings and Blake Parker allowed a solo home run to Belt in the fifth inning, giving San Francisco a 4-0 lead.

In the eighth inning, Giants pitcher Cory Gearrin allowed a single to Kinsler and a home run to Trout. According to Stats, LLC, Trout is the fourth player in franchise history with nine home runs in the team’s first 22 games, along with Albert Pujols (2014), Brian Downing (1987) and Leon Wagner (1962).

The Angels threatened against Giants closer Hunter Strickland in the ninth.

A one-out single by Jefry Marte and a two-out single by Rene Rivera put runners on first and third. Kinsler drove a fly ball to left-center field, where it hung up long enough for Gregor Blanco to close the glove on an eventful game.

Kinsler had two of the Angels’ six hits. Trout’s home run was his only hit of the game and the Angels’ only extra-base hit.

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