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OC Register: Angels dominated by Gerrit Cole in loss to Yankees


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ANAHEIM — Angels fans saw what they’re missing on Wednesday.

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, the object of such an intense desire by Angels Nation when he was a free agent in 2019, struck out 15 in seven innings in the Angels’ 4-1 loss.

The Angels were trying for an unlikely sweep of the Yankees, but they had no answers for the pitcher who has vaulted to the top of the Cy Young discussion.

Cole gave up four hits. Two of the hits – a single by Jack Mayfield and a double by David Fletcher – came on consecutive at-bats in the sixth inning, leading to the Angels’ only run.

Cole responded by striking out the next three hitters, and five of the next six, ending his day after seven innings.

It was the first appearance at Angel Stadium in a Yankee uniform for Cole, a product of Orange Lutheran High and UCLA.

Although the Angels and their fans could fantasize about how Cole would have looked in red, it was going to be difficult for the Angels to outbid the Yankees. They offered an eight-year deal worth around $280 million, and the Yankees signed him to a nine-year, $324 million deal.

The Angels, of course, pivoted to third baseman Anthony Rendon that winter, and have continued searching for pitching ever since.

On Wednesday they sent Packy Naughton to the mound for his first big league start. Naughton, 25, was one of the pitchers the Angels acquired from the Cincinnati Reds for Brian Goodwin last year.

Naughton gave up three runs in 3-2/3 innings, getting burned by two walks and a collection of well-placed singles.

In the third, Anthony Rizzo singled off the glove of first baseman Jared Walsh in between two walks. Luke Voit then punched a two-run single through the right side of the infield, with second baseman Fletcher having vacated the spot in a shift.

An inning later, Rougned Odor reached on a bunt single, took second on a grounder and scored on a Brett Gardner single, ending Naughton’s day.

More to come on this story.

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