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OC Register: Angels’ Patrick Sandoval loses no-hit bid in ninth, beat Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS — In a season in which the Angels have been desperate to find quality starting pitching, left-hander Patrick Sandoval has become a beacon of hope for the franchise.

Sandoval was just two outs away from a no-hitter in the Angels’ 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.

Brent Rooker doubled down the right field line in the ninth to end Sandoval’s no-hit bid. Sandoval picked up one more out before giving way to closer Raisel Iglesias. Iglesias allowed a double to Josh Donaldson, driving in Rooker, before striking out Miguel Sano to end the game.

Sandoval, a 24-year-old product of Mission Viejo High, was vying to become the first Angels pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Jered Weaver in 2012. The Angels also have had two combined no-hitters, including the 2019 game split between opener Taylor Cole and Felix Peña.

Sandoval, who was acquired almost exactly three years ago in a deal with the Houston Astros for Martin Maldonado, had struggled for much of his first two seasons in the big leagues, but he’s been solid ever since moving into the rotation in late May. He has a 3.52 ERA this season.

On Saturday night Sandoval threw 108 pitches, just shy of his career high of 114. He struck out 13, walked one and hit two batters. The Twins also had one hitter reach on an error by shortstop José Iglesias.

The Iglesias error began the fifth inning, but Sandoval bounced back by striking out the next three hitters, starting a string of 10 consecutive outs.

The Twins did not have another baserunner until Sandoval hit Trevor Larnach with a pitch with one out in the eighth.

Sandoval bounced back with a strikeout and a groundout, finishing the inning with 100 pitches. He started the ninth with a strikeout before giving up the hit to Rooker.

He pitched the entire game with little margin for error because the Angels didn’t score after the two-run lead they handed him before his first pitch.

Shohei Ohtani was at second after doubling when Justin Upton hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who threw behind Ohtani to try to get him wandering too far off second. Ohtani got back in time, and then second baseman Jorge Polanco made the relay to first to try to get Upton, but Sano allowed the ball to sail past him into the dugout.

Ohtani scored on that play, and then Upton scored on a two-out double by Iglesias.

More to come on this story.

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