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OC Register: Angels’ bats go silent in loss to Yankees


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One city down, four to go.

The Angels kicked off their 10-game, five-city road trip with a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night. Justin Upton and Joey Gallo traded home runs in the first inning, and neither team could cash in a run the remainder of the night.

It was a dissatisfying conclusion to a game that was originally scheduled for July 1 and postponed by rain. Starter Jose Suarez pitched five outstanding innings, allowing just the one home run, but it wasn’t enough to pull the Angels (59-61) back to .500.

The Angels could not deliver the big hit ― or the little hit, for that matter. They collected three hits, one walk, and struck out 15 times against Gerrit Cole and four relievers.

Yankees starter Gerrit Cole made his first start since July. On Aug. 3, he was placed on the injured list because of COVID-19. Monday, the four-time All-Star picked up where he left off.

Cole paid dearly when he tried to blow a low 98-mph fastball past Upton in the first inning and the ball caught too much of the strike zone. Upton launched his 16th home run of the season into the left-field bleachers and the Angels led 1-0.

From that point on, the Angels could not manufacture anything resembling a rally against Cole, the Orange County native. He threw a 100-mph fastball to strike out Brandon Marsh in the second inning. He issued only one harmless walk. The Angels could only make him squirm a couple times.

In the fifth inning, Jo Adell flew out to the warning track in center field. In the sixth, Shohei Ohtani barely missed a home run on a fly ball to the warning track in right. They added up to 728 feet of outs.

The Yankees were similarly powerless against Jose Suarez. The 23-year-old left-hander cruised through five innings, throwing an efficient 68 pitches ― 44 for strikes. Only one, a chest-high fastball to Gallo in the first inning, left the ballpark. Gallo’s fourth home run in a Yankee uniform left the Angels behind, 2-1.

Suarez kept hitters off-balance with his usual assortment of low-90s fastballs, changeups, and curveballs. He got the Yankees to swing and miss at 12 pitches; seven were changeups. Between the first inning and the sixth, Suarez faced the minimum number of hitters. Unfortunately for Suarez, his evening didn’t end there.

DJ LeMahieu drew a four-pitch walk to begin the sixth inning. Aaron Judge followed with a four-pitch walk of his own. Suarez got ahead of the dangerous Gallo 1-and-2, only to walk him to load the bases. Steve Cishek scrambled to warm up for the unenviable task of facing Giancarlo Stanton with the bases loaded.

But Cishek got Stanton to swing and miss a wipeout slider on 1-and-2. Then he got a tailor-made double play groundout from the next batter, Luke Voit, as 5-foot-9 second baseman David Fletcher somehow whipped a relay throw off with the 6-foot-6 Stanton bearing down on him.

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