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OC Register: Costly error sends Angels to loss in Mike Trout’s return

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ANAHEIM — On the first day Mike Trout was back in the Angels’ lineup in nearly two months, not much changed.

The Angels’ offense came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. The defense didn’t help, as rookie first baseman Nolan Schanuel made an error that led to three unearned runs.

Trout, who had missed seven weeks with a fractured hamate bone, was 1 for 4 with an infield hit in his return. He struck out and hit into a double play as the Angels (61-65) returned from back-to-back days off created by Tropical Storm Hilary with their 14th loss in 19 games.

The Angels didn’t manage much offense at all against Reds rookie right-hander Graham Ashcraft, who brought a 4.89 ERA into the game. Their only runs were on solo homers from Brandon Drury, Mike Moustakas and Logan O’Hoppe. They struck out 10 times against him.

After O’Hoppe’s homer in the fourth inning gave the Angels a 3-1 lead, they didn’t have another hit until Trout’s single in the eighth.

Angels starter Lucas Giolito gave up four runs in six innings, but only one of the runs was earned. He struck out nine and walked two.

Giolito gave up a homer in the first inning to Matt McClain, a product of Beckman High and UCLA, but then he settled down.

Giolito allowed just an infield hit over the next three innings, and he was about to get out of the fifth when his defense betrayed him.

The inning began with a leadoff walk to No. 8 hitter Will Benson. After a strikeout, T.J. Friedl hit a line drive into right field. Hunter Renfroe gambled by diving for it instead of playing it on a hop, and the ball got past him for a double.

Giolito responded with a strikeout and he got Elly De La Cruz to hit a routine bouncer to first baseman Schanuel, who had the ball tick off the end of his glove and bounce away.

Both runners scored on the error by Schanuel, who reached the major leagues on Friday just 40 days after the Angels picked him in the draft.

Spencer Steer, a Long Beach Millikan High product, followed with a double down the left field line, putting the Reds ahead 4-3 with the third unearned run in the inning. De La Cruz scored from first on the play.

Giolito tacked on a scoreless inning in the sixth.

Giolito has a 6.67 ERA in five games since the Angels acquired him from the Chicago White Sox on July 26, a deal that stood as a statement that the Angels would be buyers before the trade deadline.

More to come on this story.

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