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OC Register: Stuck in offensive funk, Angels go quietly again as Yankees complete sweep


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ANAHEIM — The Angels were built with the notion that they would be a much-improved offensive club from last season.

Although they still figure to be productive in the long run, at the moment they are enduring a team-wide slump.

Their quiet bats cost them again in a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday night, their fourth straight loss.

The Angels have scored just 26 runs in their past 12 games, and eight of those came in one game. Not surprisingly, they have lost nine of those games, falling from 13-3 to 16-12.

The Angels couldn’t muster much of anything against veteran lefty CC Sabathia. In seven innings, they had five hits, but only a couple scoring opportunities.

In the third, a two-out double by Ian Kinsler and a Didi Gregorius error on a Mike Trout grounder put runners at the corners, but Justin Upton grounded out. In the sixth, back-to-back hits by Upton and Albert Pujols — his 2,996th — put runners at first and third with one out.

A run scored on a wild pitch, but neither Andrelton Simmons nor Zack Cozart could drive in Pujols with the tying run.

Trout drew a leadoff walk against Chad Green in the eighth, but he was stranded. Pujols got the crowd excited with a line drive that Brett Gardner caught at the warning track.

Aroldis Chapman retired the Angels in the ninth, ending the game with Trout in the on-deck circle.

The lack of production offensively left the Angels with a loss on a night they got pretty good pitching, starting with Tyler Skaggs.

Skaggs picked up where he left off after a brilliant performance lat week in Houston, where he pitched seven scoreless innings. Facing another difficult lineup, Skaggs was burned by one mistake.

He hadn’t allowed a hit until the fourth inning, when Giancarlo Stanton yanked a double into left field. He then missed with a fastball to Gary Sanchez, leaving it over the middle of the plate, and Sanchez obliterated it, sending it 447 feet, over both bullpens beyond the left-field fence.

Skaggs did not allow another run. The problem was the Yankees worked him hard enough that he needed 99 pitches to get one out in the sixth, before his night came to an end.

Although Skaggs and the Angels would have preferred for him to be more efficient, it was nonetheless another outing toward a solid start to the season. Skaggs has a 3.03 ERA after six starts. Including eight more strikeouts on Sunday, he has 32 strikeouts in 32-2/3 innings.

More to come on this story.

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