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OC Register: Jo Adell’s clutch hit helps Angels to unlikely win against Padres


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SAN DIEGO — Blake Snell barely had to break a sweat to cruise through a skeleton Angels lineup for six innings.

But they worked him in the seventh, and they converted.

Jo Adell ripped the Angels’ first hit of the game, following two walks, to drive in the first two runs in an improbable 4-0 victory over the Padres on Tuesday night.

With several of their best hitters injured and two of the best healthy hitters on the bench, the Angels didn’t even muster a single baserunner against Snell for the first six innings.

David Fletcher worked a leadoff walk to end the perfect game. Luis Rengifo tried to bunt for a hit. Although he was out, he moved Fletcher to second. Fletcher then stole third.

Phil Gosselin then worked Snell for nine pitches, eventually striking out, and Jack Mayfield worked an eight-pitch walk. Those 17 pitches cranked Snell’s pitch count up to 26 for the inning, which was nearly half the 66 he’d thrown through the first six innings.

Snell got ahead of Adell, 1-and-2, but then Adell hammered a line drive into center field for the Angels’ first hit of the game. It drove in two because Mayfield had stolen second when the Padres paid little attention to him at first.

The runs came too late for Packy Naughton to get his first major-league victory. While Snell was setting all of the Angels down in order, Naughton was matching him in the column that matters: runs.

He worked around two hits and two walks, including one of each in the second inning. He struck out Ha Seong-Kim and Snell to strand the runners.

Naughton was pulled after five innings and just 72 pitches so the Angels could use a pinch-hitter to try to get something going against Snell.

Naughton, one of the pitchers the Angels picked up in the Brian Goodwin trade last August, has a 2.57 ERA through his first 14 major-league innings over four games.

After Naughton was pulled, Jimmy Herget worked two innings. Steve Cishek pitched the eighth and Raisel Iglesias closed it out. Luis Rengifo homered in the top of the ninth, then the Angels added another insurance run when Gosselin doubled and eventually scored on an Adell groundout.

The Angels pitching needed to be good because they used one of their thinnest possible lineups.

Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton are all injured. They also didn’t have Shohei Ohtani because there’s no DH in the National League park.

The Angels also started the game without All-Star Jared Walsh, who got the day off against the left-handed Snell. Catcher Kurt Suzuki, the weaker hitting of their two catchers, was behind the plate.

Fletcher was the only player from the Opening Day lineup who started on Tuesday night. Suzuki and Juan Lagares were the only others who were even in the major leagues on Opening Day.

More to come on this story.

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