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OC Register: Angels’ strikeout issues continue in 4th straight loss

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ANAHEIM — Despite all of the encouraging numbers produced by the Angels, there is at least one troubling number that was highlighted during their 4-2 loss to the Oakland A’s on Friday night.

The Angels have been called out on strikes 116 times, the most in the majors. They looked at seven third strikes among their 13 strikeouts on Friday, on their way to a fourth consecutive loss.

Further adding to their issues, Taylor Ward left the game after running into the right field fence making a catch in the ninth inning. There was no immediate word on the nature or severity of his injury.

Before he left the game, Ward was one of the few players who didn’t get called out on strikes. They were called out six times in a span of three innings.

In the sixth, Sam Moll got Brandon Marsh and Chad Wallach both looking at sliders over the middle of the plate. In the seventh, right-hander Zach Jackson got Mike Trout on a slider over the outside corner and then he got Shohei Ohtani on a thigh-high slider over the middle.

Left-hander A.J. Puk got Anthony Rendon looking at a slider on the inside corner for the third strike to lead off the eighth. He then got Jared Walsh looking at a fastball over the outside corner.

It was a quiet finish for a team that came into the game leading the American League in runs.

In the first, Rendon poked a two-out RBI single into right to drive in a run. Rendon, who also doubled, has been heating up, with a 1.124 OPS in his last 32 plate appearances.

In the third, the team’s two hottest hitters collaborated on a run. Ward led off with a double and then Trout followed with a double, putting the Angels ahead, 2-1.

But that wasn’t enough on a night when Chase Silseth struggled in his second major league start.

Facing the same team that he shut out on one hit over six innings in his debut last week, Silseth gave up three runs in 4-1/3 innings on Friday night.

In the first inning, he gave up a homer to Jed Lowrie and then he allowed the next three hitters to reach before he escaped the bases-loaded jam. He worked around leadoff hits in the third and fourth.

Starting the fifth with 75 pitches, Silseth issued a one-out walk to Lowrie and then Seth Brown yanked a two-run homer just inside the right-field pole. Silseth then hit Ramon Laureano, ending his night with 93 pitches.

The Angels could opt to return Silseth to Triple-A because they have off days each of the next two Mondays.

Chad Barraclough gave up another run in the sixth when he allowed a leadoff double to Luis Barrera, who came around on two fly balls.

More to come on this story.

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