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OC Register: Griffin Canning finishes his season with a quality start, but Angels lose to Rangers


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ANAHEIM — Griffin Canning gave the Angels more than anyone expected this season.

Which is mostly because no one expected anything.

Canning, who missed a season and a half with a back injury, was a total wild card heading into the 2023 season.

After allowing two runs in six innings in the Angels’ 5-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, Canning finished his season with a 4.32 ERA over 127 innings.

Canning started 22 games and appeared in 24. He got through the season without any issues with his back or his arm, missing a couple of weeks with calf tightness in August.

Canning’s fastball velocity before his last game was 94.7 mph, which was the best of his career.

Canning had eight quality starts, which was the second-highest percentage on the team, behind only Shohei Ohtani. Over his final seven games, Canning had a 3.49 ERA.

Heading into next season, the 27-year-old Canning will be arbitration-eligible, so he’ll make about $2 million to $3 million. Even though he might not have the upside to be a front-of-the-rotation starter, he’s definitely shown the consistency to suggest he can provide valuable innings in the middle or back of a rotation.

Canning’s performance on Wednesday was encouraging, considering he was facing a team fighting to lock up the AL West division title, one with arguably the league’s best offense.

In the first inning, Canning gave up a run on a two-out double by Adolis Garcia. In the third, Garcia hit a home run.

That was it. Canning didn’t allow another baserunner until giving up a single to Josh Jung in the sixth. He then walked Jonah Heim.

Manager Phil Nevin walked to the mound, but he did not pull Canning, who was at 109 pitches. Although right-hander Andrew Wantz began to jog in from the bullpen, Nevin left Canning to give him a shot to get out of the inning.

Two pitches later, he did. Mitch Garver smoked a ground ball that deflected off Canning’s foot, to shortstop Zach Neto, who fired to first for the out.

While Canning ended the night with a quality start, it was not a victory, because the Angels’ hitters came up empty while he was on the mound.

Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings.

The Rangers’ Evan Carter hit a two-run home run off of Carlos Estevez in the ninth, and Marcus Semien added a solo shot.

More to come on this story.

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