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OC Register: Angels blow late lead with poor defense in loss to Orioles


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ANAHEIM — The Angels’ 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night demonstrated just how quickly fortunes can turn.

Three players had bad moments not long after they had good ones, all leading to a disappointing second straight loss against the rebuilding Orioles.

Mike Trout hit his third and fourth homers of the season – setting a franchise record with his 21st multi-homer game – but then he took a 3-and-2 pitch down the middle with the potential tying run in scoring position in the seventh.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon made a spectacular diving stop of a line drive in the seventh, just moments before making a bad throw on a routine play in the game’s decisive inning.

That led to three unearned runs, as the Orioles erased the two-run lead the Angels had just taken on Brandon Marsh’s tie-breaking homer in the bottom of the sixth. Marsh has 13 RBIs, leading the team.

Marsh also made a costly mistake just after Rendon’s throwing error. With the bases loaded and the Angels still up by two, he made a throw from left field to the plate, instead of making sure that the two trail runners couldn’t advance. They ended up scoring the tying and go-ahead runs on a single.

The poor defensive execution in the top of the seventh cost the Angels on a night that they got another solid start from Noah Syndergaard, who gave up two runs in 5-2/3 innings.

In three starts with the Angels, Syndergaard’s only real problem has been holding runners, something he’s struggled without throughout his career.

Syndergaard has allowed four runs in 17 innings, and stolen bases have led directly to three of them. The Orioles stole three bases against him in a two-run first inning on Saturday.

For the game, the Orioles stole four bases in four attempts. In his career, Syndergaard has allowed runners to steal on 89% of their attempts.

The Angels will accept that flaw if he keeps pitching this well, though.

After the first inning, he tacked on four scoreless innings, including a stretch of nine consecutive hitters retired. He then struck out the first two hitters in the sixth before a walk and a single ended his night.

Syndergaard was unable to get his third victory in three starts, but he was spared a loss because of Trout.

Trout’s homers in the first and fifth innings equaled the runs that Syndergaard gave up in the first.

After Trout came up empty in the bottom of the seventh with the potential tying run at second, Rendon followed with a fly out. In the eighth, the Angels had another shot after Orioles left fielder Ryan McKenna dropped a fly ball. They had runners at second and third with one out, but Max Stassi hit a popout, and Tyler Wade hit a fly ball.

More to come on this story.

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