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OC Register: Brandon Drury continues big week in Angels’ blowout victory against A’s

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ANAHEIM — A few days before Brandon Drury continued his offensive explosion in the Angels’ 11-3 victory over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday night, he wasn’t feeling so great about himself.

Drury stood on the field during a pregame ceremony on Sunday and accepted his 2022 Silver Slugger Award, which he’d earned as the best-hitting utility player in the National League.

At the time, Drury’s 2023 batting average stood at .182, so he quipped to Manager Phil Nevin that he didn’t deserve the hardware.

Things have taken a dramatic turn since then.

Drury homered, doubled and drove in three runs on Wednesday night. Over his past three games, he is 6 for 13 with three homers. He lifted his OPS from .477 to .730. He has hit four homers this season.

In the relative blink of an eye, he’s gone from a horrible start to exactly what the Angels expected. He has a career .734 OPS. Last season was the best year of his career, with 28 homers and an .813 OPS, good for his first Silver Slugger.

“I’ve just been just trying to get back to being me,” Drury said on Tuesday. “Sometimes you start thinking too much or changing your swing and it kind of turns into this cycle, to the point where you’re standing there and have so many different things you’re trying to do or think or feel.”

Drury’s second-inning double drove in the Angels’ first run of the game against right-hander Luis Medina, who was making his major league debut. Matt Thaiss and Zach Neto followed with doubles as part of a five-run inning.

Neto’s double was significant because he took a first-pitch swing without his distinctive, exaggerated leg kick. Normally he only abandons the leg kick when he has two strikes.

The Angels then padded their lead on Hunter Renfroe’s team-leading seventh homer of the season, in the third, and Drury’s two-run shot in the fifth. Shohei Ohtani, who had been in a week-long slump, hit a two-run homer in the eighth.

The beneficiary of the offensive explosion was Patrick Sandoval, who gave up two earned runs in seven innings. He is the first Angels starter other than Shohei Ohtani to make it through the seventh this season.

Sandoval bounced back nicely from allowing five runs in his last start, a loss in New York. He walked a career-high six in that game, and he didn’t walk any this time.

Chase Silseth, who was just promoted from Triple-A earlier in the day, worked the final two innings as the Angels finished off their first victory by more than two runs since April 8.

More to come on this story.

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