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OC Register: Angels lose amid tributes to Mike Scioscia on the eve of the season’s final game


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ANAHEIM — The fans who streamed into Angel Stadium and collected their Mike Scioscia bobbleheads on Saturday were treated to even more nostalgia throughout the game.

During the breaks between innings of the Angels’ 5-2 loss to the Oakland A’s, the crowd of 43,762 watched numerous Scioscia highlight videos.

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Starting from his days in the periwinkle uniforms in 2000, through the 2002 World Series, all the division titles since, the tributes certainly provided further evidence of what could happen as soon as Sunday, the final day of the regular season.

Scioscia’s 19-year run as Angels manager is expected to come to an end after he completes the final season of his 10-year contract.

Although Scioscia and others around the organization have been tight-lipped — some unwilling to confirm and others unsure just what will unfold —  there is an unmistakable feeling around the team that an era is ending.

“It’s been great,” said Kole Calhoun, who made his major league debut in 2012. “Coming up here and playing for one manager for seven years, it’s been a long time. You definitely build a relationship over that span. It’s been fun. We’ve had some good times and some bad times and he’s stayed pretty even-keeled. Definitely a lot of respect.”

Tyler Skaggs, who started Saturday’s game, has played for Scioscia since 2014.

“He’s definitely been an influential person in my career,” Skaggs said. “We’ve had our ups and downs and butted heads. But he’s definitely been my biggest advocate at times.”

Skaggs admitted to “mixed emotions” regarding Scioscia, but he felt overall positive about his time with him.

“I think he’s been a big supporter and at times he’s been tough,” Skaggs said. “He’s tough on young guys. But I have a lot of respect for him.”

Scioscia’s highlight reel was packed from 2000 to 2009, when the Angels went to the postseason six times, but it’s been more sparse lately. Scioscia’s Angels never had two losing seasons in a row before 2016-17, but on Saturday night they locked up their third straight losing season by losing their 82nd game.

Skaggs, pitching his third game since missing a month recovering from a groin injury, gave up a two-run homer to Khris Davis in the first inning and got knocked out in the fourth.

Skaggs allowed three runs in 3-1/3 innings, finishing his season with 4.02 ERA. Skaggs’ ERA had been under 4.00 the entire season until the end. It had been as low as 2.62 in late July, but then he twice tried to pitch through the groin injury and gave up 17 runs.

Although pitching through the injury proved to be a mistake, Skaggs nonetheless provided some hope for the future by pitching very well when he was healthy. He also avoided any arm trouble for the second straight year.

The Angels cut the lead to 3-1 on Kaleb Cowart’s RBI single in the fifth, but then Jed Lowrie answered with a solo homer against Jim Johnson in the sixth.

In the seventh, the Angels scored a run and loaded the bases for Mike Trout, but Trout hit a flyout to deep right field to end the inning. Trout, who is making his final case for the MVP award, went hitless in four at-bats.

More to come on this story.

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