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OC Register: Angels’ David Fletcher extends hitting streak to 24 with 4 hits in victory

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SEATTLE — David Fletcher may not be looking forward to a four-day break.

If you ask Joe Maddon, he shouldn’t have the break anyway.

Fletcher ran his hitting streak to 24 games in style, with four hits that produced four runs in a 7-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the final game before the All-Star break on Sunday.

Fletcher is now hitting .309. Combined with his defense, that should have been good enough for a spot on the All-Star team, in Maddon’s eyes. There was an opening for a second baseman when José Altuve backed out of the game, but the spot went to Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield, who was next up in the voting by the players.

The players who voted may not have noticed Fletcher’s resurgence after a slow start. He slumped so badly early in the season that Maddon dropped him to the No. 9 spot in May.

Fletcher began warming up in late May, hit a little skid in early June, but then began his current streak on June 13. He’s now 43 for 98 (.439) during the streak, including 16 for 27 (.593) in the last six games.

His streak is now the third longest in Angels history. Garret Anderson had a 28-game streak in 1998 and Rod Carew had a 25-game streak in 1982.

It’s the longest streak in the majors since Wilson Ramos had a 26-game streak in 2019.

On Sunday he extended his streak by lifted a third-inning fly ball just over the left field fence, for his second homer of the year. He had just hit his first on Friday.

In the fifth inning, he poked a single down the right field line to drive in two runs. Taylor Ward had been hit by a pitch and Juan Lagares walked. Both moved up 90 feet on a Jack Mayfield bunt.

Fletcher’s seventh-inning single into center drove in Lagares, padding the lead to 4-1.

That was enough cushion for the Angels bullpen. Steve Cishek, Tony Watson and Raisel Iglesias worked four scoreless innings.

They saved the victory for José Suarez, who did not allow an earned run in five innings, a successful second start since he replaced Dylan Bundy in the rotation.

In his first start, he only lasted three innings on 75 pitches, giving up two runs, against the Boston Red Sox. This time he fared better, sailing through the lineup without any trouble after the first.

Suarez gave up singles to the first two hitters of the game, and they each moved up on a passed ball. A sacrifice fly drove in one run, but Suarez escaped further damage with a popup and a strikeout.

After that, he did not allow the Mariners to get a runner into scoring position. He gave up an infield single and he walked three.

Over the past two games, the Angels two youngest starters — Suarez and Patrick Sandoval — combined to work 12 innings, allowing just two earned runs.

More to come on this story.

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Great to see Fletch back to form. He's such a pesky little player, a real spark plug, and I love him at the plate with RISP. How do you pitch to someone like Fletch with runners on? He can get the bat to pretty much anything you throw. It's great when a homegrown talent starts to really shine on the diamond and make a name in the game, he and Walsh have been fun to follow. 

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