Angels 9, Astros 5
It was a winding narrative with many storylines. There was the heat, combined with the little Angels winning streak they had coming into the game, along with a multitude of other factors that created an atmosphere of “cringe-but-must-watch” for the game. Mike Trout wasn’t in the lineup. And then Luis Rengifo was scratched with injury.
Jaime Barría got the start to try and prove he deserves a permanent spot in the rotation. Kyle Tucker immediately greeted him with a two-run shot to deep right:
Then Aledmys Diaz got into one, and Barría’s afternoon looked to quickly be derailing:
But that was all Barría allowed. He hung in there, not exactly throwing his best stuff, but leaving the Houston hitters bamboozled enough to get through five innings only allowing the three aforementioned runs. He struck out six and walked two.
Meanwhile, after being down 3-0 early, the Angels would strike for five straight runs, as Taylor Ward cashed in one, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run home run, Jared Walsh hit a sac fly, and Franklin Barreto had a productive hit:
How many ants does it take to lift a baseball out of the ballpark?— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 6, 2020
Just one: ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/XZhJrUXdaY
But it was too much to ask for the Angels bullpen to get through four innings unscathed. Felix Peña, who had otherwise been good, blew the save:
It was a Carlos Correa home run followed by an Abraham Toro double that did the damage.
The Angels were on the precipice of going down, but Noé Ramirez was able to get some timely outs, helped out by solid defensive positioning from Ward in right field.
And then in the eighth, the magic happened once again. Three seeing-eye singles combined with a pair of walks plated a couple runs, and then Justin Upton (who is on fire right now) drove in two more with an RBI single.
Ty Buttrey slammed the door shut in the ninth.
Sidenote: In the bottom of the sixth inning, Barreto injured himself sliding into second base on a steal attempt. Joe Maddon, manager extraordinaire, decided to send backup catcher Anthony Bemboom out to run, putting in the erstwhile Luis Rengifo to play second base after the Angels were out of outs. The move meant that the Angels would play the rest of the game without a catcher (although Ward probably still has that ability in him) and was altogether dumbfounding.
To win without Mike Trout is something awesome!
(Picture a screenshot from Fox Sports West)