THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 3, 2022 at 14:27 JST
Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) stands on third during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 2. (AP Photo)
ANAHEIM, Calif.--The Los Angeles Angels wrapped up the home portion of their seventh consecutive losing season by hitting superbly, pitching more than adequately and extending their longest winning streak in nearly five years.
The Halos’ frustration will last through another winter, but they hope this strong finish portends better days ahead in 2023.
Mike Trout had his 39th homer among his three hits, and the Angels finished a dominant homestand sweep with their season-best seventh consecutive victory, 8-3 over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
“We’re playing good ball ... (but) obviously it wasn’t enough,” Trout said. “We’re not where we want to be, but the guys are putting their heads down and we’re trying to finish strong.”
Shohei Ohtani extended the majors’ longest active hitting streak to 17 games with a first-inning single, equaling his 17-game streak for the Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2016.
Rookie Livan Soto and Taylor Ward also had three hits for the Angels, who improbably finished the Anaheim portion of their eighth consecutive non-playoff season by sweeping a six-game homestand for the first time since July 2016. The Halos hadn’t won seven straight games since April 2018.
“I’m proud of the way they’ve gone about it,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “It’s almost like nobody wants it to end right now. We just want to keep playing. The vibe we’ve got right now is good. Felt good to finish it out right for our fans. We put on a good show this week.”
If Philadelphia holds on to make the postseason, Los Angeles will have the longest active skids in the majors in both categories, sharing the postseason drought with Detroit.
Corey Seager hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, who have lost five straight and 11 of 14. Texas was swept in a three-game series at Angel Stadium for the first time since September 2018.
“He got a good pitch to hit. Didn’t miss it,” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “He just missed another one to right field. It was good for him to have some success. We need Corey Seager to do Corey Seager things for us to be successful.”
Trout’s solo homer in the fourth inning was the 44th of his career against the Rangers, surpassing Reggie Jackson for the most homers hit against the franchise since it moved to Texas in 1972. The three-time AL MVP, who sat out Saturday’s game after fouling a ball off his foot Friday, has hit 15 homers since coming off the injured list Aug. 19.
Soto had a two-run double and David Fletcher added a two-run single while the Angels sent 10 batters to the plate during their six-run first inning against Tyson Miller (1-2). After rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe got his first career RBI with a bases-loaded walk, Soto and Fletcher followed with big hits.
Jaime Barria (3-3) pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief of starter Tucker Davidson for the Angels, and Jo Adell had an RBI single in the seventh.
The Angels drew 26,041 fans to their home finale and 2,457,461 to the Big A this season. That’s down from 3,023,010 fans in 2019, the most recent season before COVID-19 restrictions. The Angels had drawn at least 3 million fans in 17 consecutive seasons before the coronavirus pandemic.
Davidson pitched four solid innings before stumbling in the fifth for Los Angeles. The left-hander yielded three hits, three runs and five walks in his seventh start for the Angels since they acquired him from Atlanta on Aug. 2.
Miller rebounded from his rough first and made it through four innings of nine-hit ball.
“For him to be able to give us four innings today was a plus,” Beasley said. “I commend him for being able to battle through that.”
Rangers: Martin Perez (12-7, 2.93 ERA) faces Aaron Judge and his 61 homers on Monday when the playoff-bound New York Yankees visit Texas for four games in three days.
Angels: Patrick Sandoval (6-9, 3.03 ERA) makes the final start of his impressive hard-luck season Monday in Oakland to open the Halos’ final series of the season.
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