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OC Register: Angels give up late lead, lose to Guardians

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CLEVELAND — The Angels had just about everything going for them when they arrived to the eighth inning Saturday night against the Guardians.

Several timely hits — including home runs from Mickey Moniak and Zach Neto — propelled to them to a four-run lead, and smooth pitching from starter Reid Detmers had prevented the Guardians from cracking the scoreboard until the sixth inning.

Everything went wrong in the eighth inning, however, leading to an 8-6 loss at Progressive Field.

Reliever Andrew Wantz was charged with four runs in the eighth, and the disaster began when he allowed four consecutive one-out singles and yielded the first two baserunners to score to cut the Angels’ lead to 6-4.

Wantz was then relieved by Ryan Tepera, who immediately allowed first baseman Josh Naylor to blast a three-run home run to right field and surge the Guardians ahead on the scoreboard. Tepera was slammed again two batters later, surrendering another home run to shortstop Andrés Giménez to right field to give the Guardians their 8-6 lead.

The catastrophic inning unraveled much of the offensive work the Angels had built prior. Moniak, who turned 25 on Saturday and was recalled by the team Friday, led the game off with a home run and was the Angels’ top generator on offense, going 3 for 4 with three runs, two stolen bases and a walk. He also scored runs in the third and seventh innings.

Neto gave the Angels quality cushion in the eight, powering a ball over the tall left field wall for a two-run home run that should’ve made it easy for the Angels to finish the night with a win.

But then the Guardians showered the Angels with runs in the eighth, and the two-run deficit was too much for even the Angels’ heart of the lineup to climb from in the top of the ninth.

Guardians reliever Trevor Stephan closed the game by striking out Mike Trout and forcing a groundout from Shohei Ohtani. The Angels still put up a fight after, though, as Luis Rengifo drew a two-out walk and advanced to third base on a full-count, two-out single by Hunter Renfroe.

Renfroe was replaced by Brett Phillips as a pinch-runner, and Phillips stole second.

Brandon Drury, however, couldn’t capitalize on the scoring opportunity and grounded out to end the game.

The Angels also replaced third baseman Anthony Rendon in the sixth inning after he left with left groin tightness. Gio Urshela, who started the game at first base, moved to third while Drury moved from second base to first.

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