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OC Register: Angels give up late lead to drop home opener to Blue Jays


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ANAHEIM — The Angels’ home opener ended in a similar fashion to their season opener.

Jimmy Herget gave up a Bo Bichette three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Angels blew a two-run lead in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays before a sellout crowd of 44,735 in the first game of the season at Angel Stadium on Friday night.

Last week the Angels gave up a late one-run lead to lose to the Oakland A’s on Opening Day.

The bullpen figured to be the Angels’ biggest question, and through the first seven games, they are still looking for answers.

Herget was one of the Angels’ most reliable relievers last season, but he’s now had back-to-back rough games. On Wednesday afternoon in Seattle, he was on the mound as a three-run lead became a one-run lead, but the Angels still held on to win that one.

This time the Angels had a 3-1 lead when Patrick Sandoval was pulled after 89 pitches in six innings. Sandoval had allowed six hits and a walk, including a 109.7 mph line drive to the center field fence in the sixth inning.

Left-hander Matt Moore gave up a leadoff single to Santiago Espinal, but then he retired Jordan Luplow and Kevin Kiermaier.

Manager Phil Nevin then pulled him in favor of Herget, who gave up a single to George Springer and then a three-run homer to Bichette on a curveball that came over the plate at the knees.

The bullpen meltdown cost Sandoval a victory, on a night when his defense helped him weave his way around potential trouble.

Sandoval allowed the Blue Jays to hit seven balls at more than 100 mph, but only four of them were hits, and the Angels were able to minimize the damage with some mostly-strong defense.

Left fielder Taylor Ward grabbed a Springer fly ball at the warning track to start the game, and center fielder Mike Trout leaped at the fence to rob Matt Chapman of an extra-base hit in the sixth.

The run the Blue Jays scored against Sandoval came in the fourth, when Drury was too slow to get the ball out of his glove for the Angels to complete a double play.

The best play came in the fifth, though. Third baseman Gio Urshela fielded a Bichette bouncer down the line and he quickly looped a throw over the infield. First baseman Jake Lamb sprawled into foul territory to grab the throw with his foot still on the bag.

The Angels did better defensively than offensively.

Trout put the Angels on top in the first inning with his second homer of the season, a 441-foot blast to left-center. It gave Trout 901 RBIs, joining Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson as the only players to reach that milestone with the Angels.

After that, though, the Angels didn’t do much at the plate. They didn’t have another hit until the fifth.

They used some small ball to produce an insurance run in the fourth. Urshela and O’Hoppe walked and then David Fletcher dropped down a safety squeeze bunt, pushing Urshela home to put the Angels up 3-1.

More to come on this story.

Photos: Opening Day

  • Baseball Hall of Famer and former Angel Vladimir Guerrero embraces...

    Baseball Hall of Famer and former Angel Vladimir Guerrero embraces current Angels star Mike Trout after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ayuka Ikarashi is all smiles as she poses with a...

    Ayuka Ikarashi is all smiles as she poses with a life-size picture of Angels star Shohei Ohtani before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in...

    Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Fans of Angels star Shohei Ohtani try to get his...

    Fans of Angels star Shohei Ohtani try to get his attention prior to the team’s home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Angels fans gather hoping to get an autograph from their...

    Angels fans gather hoping to get an autograph from their favorite players prior to their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brothers Jeshua Florentino, 11, and Josiah Florentino, 7, pause for...

    Brothers Jeshua Florentino, 11, and Josiah Florentino, 7, pause for a picture with a life-size picture of Angels star Shohei Ohtani before the team’s home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in...

    Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeshua Florentino, 11, shows off his homemade sign before the...

    Jeshua Florentino, 11, shows off his homemade sign before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Frank and Marie Elizalde dance to music playing in the...

    Frank and Marie Elizalde dance to music playing in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jordy Esquivel, 4, pretends to pitch to his father, Mike...

    Jordy Esquivel, 4, pretends to pitch to his father, Mike Esquivel, before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ayuka Ikarashi is all smiles as she poses with a...

    Ayuka Ikarashi is all smiles as she poses with a life-size picture of Angels star Shohei Ohtani before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in...

    Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Alonso Contreras and his band, Grupo Doble AA, play in...

    Alonso Contreras and his band, Grupo Doble AA, play in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in...

    Players from the GBG Youth Baseball Club play football in the parking lot before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Angels star Shohei Ohtani glances back from the dugout after...

    Angels star Shohei Ohtani glances back from the dugout after his pre-game warmup prior to their home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Active duty local military personnel unfurl a 150-foot by 300-foot...

    Active duty local military personnel unfurl a 150-foot by 300-foot American flag before the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Angels star Mike Trout congratulates former Angel and Baseball Hall...

    Angels star Mike Trout congratulates former Angel and Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero after Guerrero threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Active duty local military personnel gather a 150-foot by 300-foot...

    Active duty local military personnel gather a 150-foot by 300-foot American flag after the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • F-15C Eagles from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter...

    F-15C Eagles from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing fly over a 150-foot by 300-foot American flag during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • F-15C Eagles from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter...

    F-15C Eagles from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing fly over Angel Stadium before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Baseball Hall of Famer and former Angel Vladimir Guerrero throws...

    Baseball Hall of Famer and former Angel Vladimir Guerrero throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Angels’ home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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