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OC Register: Angels bullpen falters in ninth inning of loss to Twins


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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, hits a two-run home run with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, hits a two-run home run with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11:  Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a two run home run in the third inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a two run home run in the third inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, center, is congratulated by Mike Trout, left, with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson, right, and home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt looking away after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, center, is congratulated by Mike Trout, left, with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson, right, and home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt looking away after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11: Justin Upton #8 is greeted in the dugout any Kole Calhoun #56  and manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after hitting a two run home run in the third inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11: Justin Upton #8 is greeted in the dugout any Kole Calhoun #56 and manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after hitting a two run home run in the third inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws to the plate against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs throws to the plate against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Lance Lynn throws to the plate Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Lance Lynn throws to the plate Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozier, right, gets congratulations from third base coach Gene Glynn after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Minnesota Twins’ Brian Dozier, right, gets congratulations from third base coach Gene Glynn after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a ground ball to Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer for an out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a ground ball to Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer for an out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, hits a single to load the bases with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, hits a single to load the bases with Minnesota Twins catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11:  Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the second inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 11: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in the second inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler throws to first to get Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer on a ground ball out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler throws to first to get Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer on a ground ball out during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, left, checks in on the injury condition of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Lance Lynn, second from right, with the team trainer, catcher Bobby Wilson and third baseman Eduardo Escobar, right, during Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton’s at-bat in the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. Lynn stayed in the game for Upton’s two-run home run. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, left, checks in on the injury condition of Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Lance Lynn, second from right, with the team trainer, catcher Bobby Wilson and third baseman Eduardo Escobar, right, during Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton’s at-bat in the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. Lynn stayed in the game for Upton’s two-run home run. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, left, draws a walk to score Martin Maldonado, right, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons, left, draws a walk to score Martin Maldonado, right, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor, left, asks for the ball from starting pitcher Lance Lynn, right, with catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor, left, asks for the ball from starting pitcher Lance Lynn, right, with catcher Bobby Wilson watching during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, above, prepares to tag out the Twins’ Brian Dozier on a stolen base attempt during the sixth inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, above, prepares to tag out the Twins’ Brian Dozier on a stolen base attempt during the sixth inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario hits a solo home run in front of Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario hits a solo home run in front of Los Angeles Angels catcher Martin Maldonado during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario, right, gets congratulations from Robbie Grossman after Rosario hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

    Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Rosario, right, gets congratulations from Robbie Grossman after Rosario hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, May 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM — Mike Scioscia first gave rookie Justin Anderson a shot at a save, weeks into his big league career.

When that didn’t work, he turned to veteran closer Jim Johnson to bail him out.

And that didn’t work either.

Anderson and Johnson both allowed runs in the ninth inning of the Angels’ 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

The Angels took a  4-2 lead into the ninth, built upon Justin Upton’s fourth homer in as many games and the strong pitching of starter Tyler Skaggs and perfect relief from Noé Ramírez in the seventh and Anderson in the eighth.

But Scioscia kept the right-handed Anderson in to pitch the ninth, with two lefties and a switch-hitter due. Lefty José Álvarez, who had thrown 22 pitches a night earlier, did not warm up.

Anderson immediately gave up a homer to Eddie Rosario, his second of the game. After a strikeout, Anderson allowed a double to Logan Morrison.

Scioscia then came to get Johnson, who had picked up the save on Thursday night. The Angels intentionally walked pinch-hitter Max Kepler – putting the go-ahead run on base – and then Johnson gave up a single down the first base line to pinch-hitter Mitch Garver, sending Kepler to third.

Bobby Wilson hit a fly ball to left to drive in Kepler with the go-ahead run.

The ninth-inning meltdown spoiled the work of Skaggs, who had continued the Angels’ strong starting pitching this month. Skaggs gave up two runs in six innings. Angels starters have a 2.14 ERA this month, the best in the league. In 10 games, only one of them has allowed as many as three runs.

The offense has also been clicking, especially Upton. His two-run shot in the third inning that put the Angels ahead 3-1.

Slumping Kole Calhoun even had two hits, his first multi-hit game since April 11. His third-inning single led to a run that put the Angels on the board, just before Upton put them ahead with a two-run homer.

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Upton had the Angels’ 15th streak of at least four straight games with a homer, which includes Bobby Bonds’ club record five-game streak in 1977. Mike Trout was the last to homer in four straight games, achieving the feat last year.

The blast was Upton’s fifth homer in the past six games. He now has 10 homers for the season. Over the past five years, the Angels had averaged 11.4 homers per season out of all their left fielders.

The lead gave a little breathing room to Skaggs, who now has a 3.07 ERA after eight starts.

Asked before the game what’s been the key to Skaggs’ improvement this season, Scioscia cited a combination of factors.

“I think Tyler has an understanding to commit to a pitch,” Scioscia said. “He’s found his release point. The first couple starts he struggled at times with his release point, but he’s been very consistent his last four or five. He’s starting to hit his spots and understand more about changing speeds. He’s really been very consistent.”

Skaggs gave up a first-inning homer to Brian Dozier, who had four hits in the series opener on Thursday. After that, Skaggs retired the next seven hitters, including five strikeouts.

In the third, he got into a two-out jam when he gave up a single and then two walks to load the bases. Skaggs escaped when cleanup hitter Eddie Rosario hit a flyout to left.

The next time Rosario came up, he hit a solo homer, the only other run that Skaggs allowed.

More to come on this story.

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5 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

I am sure if Scioscia had pulled Justin Anderson after a perfect eighth and someone else had blown it in the 9th, everyone would have been saying “why didn’t he leave him in? Anderson was great! Stupid Scioscia hates young players!”

Please stop bitch slapping our narratives. We don't have much else, Jeff.

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9 hours ago, Dick B Back said:

If you read the full article on the OC Register, there is a lot more info provided by Jeff that explains Sosh’s BP decisions in this game.

I’m ok with it although it was a sucky loss (BP losses always are).

Great full article @Jeff Fletcher.

Sosh haters still gonna hate, I’m sure.

The article does explain both keeping Anderson in and the intentional BB. Still backfired but it made more sense.

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